Deception! Intrigue! Cross-dressing!
No, it’s not a John Waters Film. . . it’s Charley’s Aunt!
Marriotts Ridge High School’s fall production, Charley’s Aunt, runs Thursday, November 17; Friday, November 18; and Saturday, November 19, 2011, at 7:00 PM in the high school auditorium. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased in advance by contacting Caren Fitzpatrick.
First performed in London in 1832, this wild ride of a farce broke all historic records with a run of more than 1400 performances. The show features twists and turns on classic themes of love longed for and thwarted, all tangled up with money troubles and false identities. Is anyone who you really think he—or SHE—really is?
Featuring a small, seasoned cast and inventive American staging at an Ivy League school, Charley’s Aunt is just as relevant today as it was in its heyday, and will make you howl with laughter –something we could all use a bit more of in this economy. Tickets are a bargain at just $10--reserve yours today!
Make an afternoon of it by joining us for Tea preceding the Sunday Matinee performance. Tickets for the tea are $10 and can be purchased by contacting laVerne_miersemail@example.com.
For more information on Charley’s Aunt, visit mrhstheatre.org.
Just who is Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez? At Marriotts Ridge’s entertaining performance of Charley’s Aunt, it doesn’t take long to find out that she is, in fact, Charley’s aunt from Brazil, “where the nuts come from.”
When the wealthy widow Donna Lucia D’Alvadorez decides to visit the nephew she has never met before but changes her mind in the eleventh hour, she spoils the plans Charley and his friend Jack have put into place. Clearly the most logical action for the boys to take is to cozen their schoolmate Francort into dressing as Donna Lucia. What could possibly go wrong? Of course, half the fun unfolds when the real Donna Lucia appears…
As the lights brightened at the start of the performance, the audience immediately spotted Jack Chesney (Brian Gilbert) standing on his head. Gilbert leapt agilely to his feet and was not still for another second. His constant movements did not detract from his performance but enhanced it, for the energy he produced kept the fast-paced farce moving along swiftly, and his character came across as exhilarated but anxious about the turn of events. At first, his comrade in deception Francort Babberly (Ben Bott) appeared to be an ordinary character, but as soon as Bott donned the wig and voluminous gown of his version of Donna Lucia he became the unexpected comedian. With his antics ranging from the hilarious (Bott, wig slightly askew, races back and forth across the stage away from potential suitors) to the absurd (the “lady” repeatedly lifts her skirts to reveal the plaid pants she wears underneath), Bott never failed to elicit laughter.
But what of the real Donna Lucia (Claire Fremuth)? With a wry smile and coy mannerisms she sat back in amusement to watch her increasingly flustered imposter fumble under scrutiny. Meanwhile, Bott’s would-be suitor Stephen Spettigue (TJ Talcott) somehow managed to manifest an air of pompous goofiness, not an easy task but an entertaining one.
The set, three simple but detailed vignettes were easily interchangeable and allowed for quick, seamless transitions. And, despite a few minor sound glitches, the actors could be heard loudly and clearly throughout the duration of the performance, which helped the audience catch every joke and turn of phrase that occurred.
At the end of the performance one thing was obvious: Brazil isn’t the only place nuts come from; they are on stage and behind the scenes at Marriotts Ridge’s lively production of Charley’s Aunt.