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Arts and Entertainment

Backing Away From Hell

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Forty-eight years ago at her Sunset and Barrington residence, actress Mariette Hartley was finishing breakfast as she heard a high pitched blasting sound unlike any she recognized. The horrible discovery to follow was only truly and eerily felt as Hartley spoke of cleaning up her own father.


If You Get to Bethlehem, You've Gone Too Far does not carry that tone throughout. In fact, the theatre piece is a smoothly intertwined experience of intrigue, sorrow, and laughter. Believe us when we say that if a nun swears, you laugh.

Linearly, the story follows Hartley's journey to visit her cloistered mentor, Mother Delores Hart, at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut. Hartley's travel and eventual arrival play out racing thought memories of her past leading up to the suicide of her father, John B. Watson. Successfully demonstrating this erratic behavior through a visual collage of what feels like radio theatre, director Don Eitner slows the pace after Hartely leaves her car to enter the Abbey.