by Guest Reviewer T.E. Klunzinger
As you see it, “Apples in Winter” by Jennifer Fawcett, now playing at Ixion, is about making a pie. And Paige Tufford, as Miriam, really does make a nice little apple pie right there before your very eyes.
But much more than that, this short play is a meditation about motherhood – what it means to be a mother, in good times and bad. And as we soon learn, this particular mother is making a pie, in the prison kitchen, for her wayward son just as she has many times in the past, except that this is the last pie she will make for him because he’s finally about to die for a crime committed many years earlier.
As Miriam (there is no one else in the cast), Paige Tufford effectively gives a master class in acting, starting slowly with her soft southern drawl, speaking directly to us and ruminating on the essentials of pie-making and the vagaries of life, building to a powerful close. Just standing there, going through the rituals that Miriam declares to be essential, Ms. Tufford had the full attention of the audience and it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Or a pie bake.
This relatively new play is gloriously written, gloriously played and deserves a much bigger audience than on opening night, dampened as it was by heavy rain and football. You have three more chances to see it – today (Sunday, October 27 at 2pm) and next Sunday at 2 pm, as well as next Saturday at 8 pm at the Robin Theatre 1105 S Washington Ave, Lansing, MI 48910. Plan on it now!