published Thursday, November 8th, 2012

'My Three Angels' descends into UTC Fine Arts Center


• What: "My Three Angels."

• When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13-Friday, Nov. 16; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17.

• Where: Dorothy Hackett Ward Theater, UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

• Admission: $12 adults, $10 students/seniors/alumni.

• Phone: 425-4269.

• Website:

Sometimes, you have to take your angels where you can get them.

A shopkeeper's family in French Guiana around the turn of the 20th century must learn that in the UTC Theatre Company's production of "My Three Angels," which opens Tuesday, Nov. 13, for six shows at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Fine Arts Center.

The three-act comedy by Sam and Bella Spewack is based on the French play "La Cuisine Des Anges" by Albert Husson.

"Is it profound?" said director Patrick Sweetman. "Not really." But "it's a really funny play."

The "angels," it turns out, are paroled convicts from the local penal colony who move about with relative freedom. While hired to work on the shopkeeper's roof, they hear about the woes in the house below.

The shop's not going well. An evil uncle is coming to check things out. The daughter's in love with the wrong guy. And to make things worse, it's Christmas Eve and about 105 degrees in the shade.

When the "angels" descend upon the family, anything -- good or bad -- could happen.

The play, according to Sweetman, offers "a lot of different kinds of humor," from situation comedy to witty writing and wordplay to farcical situations.

Along the way, the "angels" don't seem to mind taking up a little of their former professions to accomplish their means.

"It's a little irreverent but not shocking," Sweetman said. "For the 1950s [when it ran for 344 performances on Broadway], it was probably a little bit exciting."

The play also was adapted to a 1955 movie, "We're No Angels," starring Humphrey Bogart.

Contact Clint Cooper at or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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