Twelve years ago, Emily Fisher, wife, mother, socialite, and celebrated patron of the arts, was beaten and stabbed in her Central Gardens home. The murder, and the harrowing trial that followed, quickly turned into a media feeding frenzy. Prosecutor Jerry Harris choked back angry tears as he described and redescribed every aspect of Fisher's murder in painstaking detail. Defense attorneys Glenn Wright and Loyce Lambert were no less emphatic in swearing that the case was being tried in the media, and their innocent clients — who were eventually acquitted — were being rushed to a guilty verdict. It was, needless to say, not an easy time for Fisher's children.
On Thursday, May 24th, Rebecca Fisher, Emily's daughter, a writer and actress residing in San Francisco, opens her one-woman show, The Magnificence of the Disaster, at TheatreWorks. The black comedy chronicles not only her mother's murder and her brother Adrian's subsequent overdose but also the icy disaffections that can sometimes pass for familial love in a big white house in one of Shelby County's more privileged neighborhoods.
Although Fisher has described her play as a work-in-progress, The Magnificence of the Disaster received round after round of critical praise when it opened at the Marsh in San Francisco earlier this year. It will undoubtedly become a different play in Memphis, where the author's name is not so anonymous and the memory of the murder is as fresh as it is confounding.
"The Magnificence of the Disaster," TheatreWorks, Thursday-Saturday, May 24th-26th, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, May 27th, at 2 p.m., $20