The titular girl on the train is a divorced, unemployed, alcoholic woman named Rachel. Every day she takes the train into London (despite being set in England the play is performed with no accents, which seems a bit odd at times, but you soon forget about it) past the home she used to share with her husband Tom, who now lives there with his new wife Anna and their baby. A few doors down from Tom's place, she sees a woman on her terrace who seems to live the perfect life that Rachel has always dreamed about. The play begins when this woman, Megan, goes missing, and Rachel is somehow involved. The problem is, she can't remember how. She becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Megan, even visiting Megan's husband and therapist to try to get some answers. Eventually all of the pieces fall into place and the answer becomes startlingly clear.
|photo by Molly Weibel|
|Jack Bonko, Grace Hillmyer, Jonathan Feld, and Laurą Baker|
(photo by Molly Weibel)
Laura brings out the humanity of the character so that despite Rachel's questionable choices, we still empathize with her and root for her to get her life together. The cast also includes Jonathan Feld as Tom, Grace Hillmyer as Anna, Jack Bonko as Megan's husband, Austin Moores as her therapist, and Doc Woods as a detective, bringing in a bit of humor to the dark story. Director Anna J. Crace does well with the tricky story that goes from present to past, from memory to reality. The sparse, modern, and angular set doesn't detract from the filmed elements but provides a nice backdrop for the story. (Lighting and projection design by Ian Pirner, videography by Jim Eischen, scenic design by Chad Van Kekerix.)
The Girl on the Train is a thrilling mystery, but it also delves into deeper issues of gaslighting, coercive control, relationships, pregnancy and infertility, and the tricks one's memory can play. Maybe that's why this story was and continues to be so popular in all its forms - novel, movie, and now stage play.
See The Girl on the Train at Lyric Arts in Anoka Thursdays through Sundays until February 5.
Join me and my fellow Twin Cities Theater Bloggers for a special event at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres! Get $20 off the ticket price for the March 4 matinee performance of the regional premiere of the super fun and heart-warming musical THE PROM, and stick around after the show for a talk-back with some of the cast. Find more info in the Facebook event here, and purchase discount tickets using code TCTB1 or by clicking on this link (discount valid for March 4 1pm performance only).