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The Stratford Festival Theatre in Ontario has been training and cultivating great actors for years now—William Hutt, Maggie Smith, Brian Bedford, Marti Maraden, Alan Scarfe, and Martha Henry have all done beautiful work—probably some of their best—there. However, with the slight exception of Smith, none have made the transition to film. So to find Martha Henry starring in a new Canadian movie was a great and pleasant surprise.

Dancing in the Dark is director Leon Marr's feature film debut and a variation on the theme of "diary of a mad housewife." In it Martha Henry plays Edna, a woman who has devoted her life to her not unkind but somewhat boorish businessman of a husband. She is a woman of single purpose and few friends, spending her time cleaning house, cooking, and waiting for Harry to come home.

When the inevitable phone call comes relating Harry's equally inevitable adultery, Edna falls to pieces. The movie cuts between scenes of before and after, from Edna at home (dusting the very antennae on the television set and ironing even her underwear) to Edna in the hospital, where she has been placed by the court following her breakdown and her husband's death. The script is sometimes overblown but not without subtlety, and if the whole movie runs a little too closely along the lines of a feminist stereotype, it is everywhere redeemed by Henry's performance. After the...

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