Jimmie LeRoy is a singing, tap dancing male impersonator. Claire Hicks is her accompanist and partner. As the reality of relocating back to America puts a great toll on the couple, both as professionals and lovers, as the life they’ve been enjoying will not exist back at home. Home in Her Heart is a daring two-hander that tells a story of forbidden love with World War II as the backdrop. Morrison, who also plays Jimmie, the scripted focal point of the play, has written a play that pushes the boundaries, both for the time and now. Morrison’s story is unfortunately not one that gets told often. Fortunately, Morrison has created a play that is filled with heart. Sadly, it’s a story that lived in the past that longed for action in the present. Morrison’s script is filled with exposition and talking about the world rather doing anything about it. With a singular goal that both characters share, it leaves much repetition in dialogue Jimmie and Claire seem to talk in circles often from scene to scene. Perhaps by shrinking the length, it can allow for some of the scenes to be combined.
|photo courtesy of Keith Gemerek|
Director Cheryl King guided Morrison and Jenkins through the world Morrison created. She focused on the relationship quite well, allowing the chemistry to shine. The one hitch that King, and Morrison, encountered was Jimmie’s need for undressing and dressing. The idea of playing a character is a central theme, but when it comes to nudity, it should be brought it tastefully. The constant need for topless moments truly took away from the singular moment of nudity that could have made a stronger impact. The bandage moment was striking and beautiful, but lost all shock value with all the previous exposure. This scene truly defined the struggle and character of Jimmie.
Home in Her Heart is a piece of a great potential. This war age love story is an interesting tale of forbidden love but ultimately seems to lose all stakes by overloaded exposition.