Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review of Sense and Sensibility at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Sense and Sensibility. It is based on the novel by Jane Austen. It is a new musical and the book and music and lyrics were by Paul Gordon. It was directed by Barbara Gaines. It was about two sisters named Elinor (Sharon Rietkerk) and Marianne (Megan McGinnis) and Elinor fell in love with a man named Edward Ferrars (Wayne Wilcox). And Marianne fell in love with a man named Mr. Willoughby (Peter Saide). And the other problem is that they have been moved out of their home by their older brother John Dashwood (David Schlumpf) and his wife Fanny (Tiffany Scott) because their father died. Even though this is mostly about falling in love, it does pass the Bechdel test. If you don't know what the Bechdel test is, you can learn it from me, ADA GREY! You pass the test if the play or book or movie has two girls who are named and are talking to each other and it is not about men. And I'm very happy about that. I thought this was a great show and I really love the story.

Elinor is kind of like what is holding the story together. She is the calm and collected one and she doesn't let anything hurt her personally. There is this very sad song about how Elinor can't even tell her sister her feelings. It is called "Not Even You." I think that that really shows her personality--that she doesn't share her feeling, not even with her closest friend. I don't think that is a good idea. You should be able to tell your closest friend everything about you, especially if you are related to her! The next song, "The Visit," was more funny. It was about Edward coming back to come and say hi to Elinor and finding that this woman that he had promised to marry named Lucy (Emily Berman) was there and he didn't really want to have the stress of meeting with two women, one he used to be in love with and one that he was in love with right now. I think that was funny because he came in and he was very surprised. The look on his face was just hilarious and it made me laugh very hard. The song was like both of the women singing "Edward!" over and over and him just being like "Nope! Nope! Not talking to you guys!" I think that Edward was very funny because of the faces he made and he was just very hilarious.

I think that I am a lot like Marianne, only slightly less dippy. If I met Willoughby and didn't know he was a cad, I would totally fall in love with him. I am also a drama queen and a goofball. She is a goofball when she is talking about Willoughby and she says, "Willoughby!" and sighs, which is kind of like me. She is a drama queen when she has to give up her featherbed. I liked that moment a lot when she said, "Can I bring my featherbed?" and it was all she cared about. I found it very funny that that was all she really cared about. Then also when she was talking with Willoughby she was reciting a poem and then Willoughby finished the poem with her, I found that so cheesy and I found it so humorous because, if you know he is a cad, you are like, "He's too good to be true and too bad to be true!" He is too good to be true because he isn't true. Marianne sang this song about how she was no longer the girl that he would push on the swing, and I found that a very sad song, and I felt super sorry for her. The song was so sad and touching because you see how much he hurt her. She is remembering when he pushed her on the swing and then she is also thinking about this painting that was very popular at that time with a woman in a fancy dress with a man pushing her on a swing. That shows you she thinks of herself as art, and that means that she thinks of herself as one of a kind and that he missed out. But she also feels like she missed out on Willoughby, but that is not true!

Marianne also has a man who is actually not a cad!!! Yay! Colonel Brandon (Sean Allan Krill) is really in love with her and I think that he seems like a better match for her than Willoughby because he will actually stay true to her. I found that very happy that there was someone who loved her who was not just loving her so that he could break her heart and run away with another woman. I think that the song "Wrong Side of Five & Thirty" was very funny because I don't think he was the wrong side. He's not even that old. He's just thirty-six instead of thirty-four. Mrs. Jennings (Paula Scrofano) said he was on the wrong side of five and thirty so don't get interested in Marianne. She must have felt dumb later! The song is kind of sad, though, because he is saying, "She'll never love me. I'm too old." I liked how funny but sad it was; it was bittersweet.

People who would like this show are people who like love triangles, poetry-reading cads, and featherbeds. I think people should definitely go see this show. I had a lot of fun and found it very funny, clever, and touching.

Photos: Liz Lauren

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