by Chris Davis
21 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.
in 2007 Rebecca Fisher, Emily's writer/actor daughter launched The Magnificence of the Disaster, a solo performance chronicling 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.
It's been 8-years since Fisher brought her critically-acclaimed and award-winning show to TheatreWorks, in conjunction with Voices of the South. VOTS has been marking its 20th-anniversary by reprising landmark performances, and The Magnificence of the Disaster returns to Memphis and TheatreSouth for performances April 9, 10, 14, 16, 17.