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Marriage, mayhem and murder go hand in hand

Jul 05 2006
Bill Hirschman | Sun-Sentinel

As The Smell of the Kill opens in a suburban kitchen, three long-suffering women are cleaning up after their monthly dinner while their Neanderthal husbands frolic in the living room. Between trading barbs, they realize their emotionally abusive spouses have accidentally locked themselves in a basement meat locker and could freeze to death. After a few moments of frenzied searching for a key, the flurry slows and a delicious glimmer of opportunity begins to gleam in their eyes. Now these are some really desperate housewives. Palm Beach Dramaworks closes a successful season with a droll farce about marriage and murder worthy of Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock. Two factors make the evening a treat. Actresses Irene Adjan, Maribeth Graham and Stacy Schwartz provide flawless performances that meld frenetic comedy and precision timing as well as the underlying human truth. Second, director J. Barry Lewis sets a perfectly daffy tone and expertly paces this 80-minute ride in a truck careening down a mountain without brakes.