A PART OF THE PAST NOT OFTEN EXPLORED: A PIECE OF MY HEART, MARCH 16-25 AT GROSSMONT COLLEGE

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By Kathy Carpenter

Associate Reviewer www,sdtheatrereviews.com

March 22, 2017 (La Mesa) – A Piece of My Heart is an extremely emotional portrayal of six women who served in Vietnam.  The characters are based on real women, proving no matter what your background or your role in Nam, no one left unaffected by time spent in the conflict, men or women.

Director Jeannette Thomas knew to pull real emotion from her actors; she needed more than words on a page. She thanks Lt. Col. Joe Radzikowski USMC for his personal account of the horrors of Vietnam and the inspiration her cast pulled from the experience. A Piece of My Heart is one of those life changing plays for all those involved in the process.

It takes place in Vietnam and the United States before, during and after the war. It follows the lives of Martha, played by Vanessa Duran, who wanted to be a nurse. Maryjo, played by Eliana Payne, is a country singer in a girl band who was promised a thousand dollars a week to do what she loved--to sing and make soldiers happy. Leeann, played by Shante Wong, was anti-war but signed up to go to Hawaii. Sissy, portrayed by Amy Oliverlo, is a nice southern girl. Whitney, played by Kassandra Wallies, is more of an upper-class Bostonian type. Last, doing a phenomenal job as Steele, Symone Still plays someone of color already in the Army and wanting to go to Vietnam to help.

This is a diverse cast of characters to follow and learn from. The play also features two males who delivered the parts of all men portrayed in the show. Demetrius Clayton and Raymond Kazules did a fantastic job.

The entire cast delivered unforgettable performances. No one left the theate smiling and cheerful.This is a show you need to experience. Most of us have heard of Vietnam but you probably don't really know the effects it had on everyone there, including those who knew and loved them when they returned. Profound.

Come to the Stagehouse Theatre March, 23, 24, and 25th at 7:30 and the 25th at 2 pm to experience a piece of history you will not soon forget.