REVIEW: 'The Miracle Worker' works miracles at Warriors Hall

Published: Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM.

Skittering on the edge of being institutionalized, as was the common practice for the deaf, mute and blind in the 19th century, Keller’s family chose to send for a teacher, the titular character in William Gibson’s powerful drama.

The pairing of Brooklyn Onuffer as Helen and Sarah Hawkins, the nearly blind tutor Annie Sullivan, was one of the most magnificent pieces of casting I’ve ever seen in a theatre-going career that dates to when I was three years old.

Their cavalcade of raw emotions runs the gamut from often heart-wrenching, sometimes heart-stopping, sometimes warm, sometimes adversarial and even sometimes comical and ultimately loving.

The dining room battle scene, which Brooklyn said was the toughest to perform, was so masterfully executed that even the audience woman who texted through most of opening night’s first act put down her smartphone and took notice.

At last Annie emerged triumphant.

“The room’s a wreck but her napkin is folded,” Annie informs Mrs. Kate Keller, warming, lovingly and, when need be, forcefully portrayed by Julie Bywater.

The engaging cast also includes an impressive young talent in Douglas Black as Helen’s older half-brother James, whose observations propel the story and likewise contribute some blessed light humor to break the tension.

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