Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pride and Prejudice

Peppered with wit and passion, Jane Austen's insights into social mores and morality are as relevant today as they were during her time of calling cards and introductions. No one is immune to the powers of Austen - not Hollywood, not writers who churn out sequels and prequels and sometimes zombies, and not the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Who could resist a story that begins with such a line as, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in the possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife?" Pride and Prejudice's classic opener sets the stage for love, disappointment, and deception. But don't worry; you can always count on a very happy ending, indeed.

This deliciously choreographed Regency Era romance is a delight to behold. The casting is sublime - who could be a better Mrs. Bennet than Anne Herring? Jack A. Smith's period costumes - regimental uniforms, billowy gowns with matching bonnets, and stylish suits - rival anything I have seen in the movies. Director Thomas Ouellette makes sure that the story progresses without dragging, which many long productions with large casts can. However, I do think that Jane Austen may have been a bit shocked by all the kissing.

The cast of characters is long, but I can safely say that everyone embraced their inner Austen. Michele Vazquez and Avery Clark are the star-crossed lovers, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. They must be channeling Austen herself in the proposal scene. Robin Olson's Lady Catherine De Bourgh gives a whole new meaning to the word diva, and Michael Daly brings the funny as the oafish Mr. Collins.  I was a little disappointed in Trent Fucci's Mr. Wickham; he could have used more charm and less anger. Wickham was always more about appearances than substance.

Don't miss this production of the classic romance, Pride and Prejudice now showing until March 20th.

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