Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review of The Hypocrites' You on the Moors Now

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called You on the Moors Now. It was by Jaclyn Backhaus, and it was directed by Devon de Mayo. It was about Jo March (Deanna Myers), Elizabeth Bennet (Tien Doman), Jane Eyre (BrittneyLove Smith), and Cathy Earnshaw (Emjoy Gavino) going on an adventure to escape the men who were trying to marry them: Laurie Laurence (Maurice Demus), Fitzwilliam Darcy (Desmond Gray), Mr. Rochester (Josh Odor), and Heathcliff (Japhet Balaban). And the men and the women will all go to great lengths to get what they want. It was a really hilarious combination of present-day and 19th-century ideas about women's rights and men's ideals. It was about love, bonding, and standing up for yourself. I loved this show. There were some moments I could not stop laughing--it was out of my control.

Heathcliff and Cathy from Wuthering Heights were a really messed up couple, but you were still rooting for them. The proposal wasn't really a proposal at all. It was just him angrily chopping some wood and yelling at it. Then yelling at Cathy. Then kind of confessing that he loved her. Then yelling at the sky. So it was kind of understandable why Cathy ran away, even if she wasn't sure if she was going to marry him. At the beginning Heathcliff and Cathy are sort of acting like teenagers. By the end they are trying to act like adults, but they can't get together really because one of them is dead. One of them died because they were fighting boys against girls and when you have huge battles someone can die. (The huge battle was very funny until somebody died!) But I wasn't completely on one side. I felt sorry for the boys even though they were trying to force people to marry them, which is not good. But I still felt their pain; it does really hurt to get turned down by someone you really like. I feel like they deserved to have a little bit of a cry without the women yelling "Get over it!" at them. Especially Laurie, who seemed like such a sweetheart. But I feel like the men went too far by starting a freakin' war.

I loved the campfire scene. It was funny how they would call out the names of the different chapters throughout the play. Jo March from Little Women just stood up and said something like, "You havin' s'mores now!" There were a lot of really sweet bonding moments when the girls were all around the fire having s'mores, now. ;-) They were talking about themselves and the jobs they wanted to get or got. They all bonded together and then they got even more women, like the River Sister (Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel) and Caroline Bingley (Sarah Price) and Beth March (SaraĆ­ Rodriguez) to help them. Beth March wasn't actually that much of a help though because, well, she was dying just like in the book. But Jo and Beth don't even have Marmee (Edward Mawere) to help them in this version because she is on the men's side. I thought it was very funny that Marmee did this huge reveal that she was part of the men's side and also that she was such a jerk to Beth when she was dying. The reveal is funny because she is like the big boss or the villain in the story, because she orders the men around. But it is not even that much of a reveal because she is played by a man! Grandpa Laurence (Breon Arzell) is another big operative; he told the men everything the women were doing in this letter, but he added a nice grandpa-ly touch on the end.

Jane Eyre I think had the best reason for running away from her man because he literally (spoiler alert!) locked his wife in the attic and didn't tell Jane about it. And Jane really wants to go into outer space in this version, but in the original she just wants figurative space to think. I thought that was very clever! And Jane and Rochester were a very cute couple and at the very end I had this moment of "awww." You know she still loved him, but you also knew that she needed some spa-a-ace! And by the end, they both have gotten over what they were mad about and they changed things about themselves so that they can be together. I'm a very big Jane Eyre fan, and I loved this version of the character.

Elizabeth Bennet is from another of my favorite books, Pride and Prejudice, and Mr. Darcy was hilarious in this show. In the book, Darcy is haughty, but in this his haughtiness is hilarious. The men were basically running around and everyone collapsed, but he had to grab a pillow and then collapse onto that. And Elizabeth Bennet seemed basically to conduct the group. She seemed to have a lot of sense, and Elizabeth Bennet is basically me: we stand up for ourselves and we have very strong bonds with a bunch of different women and we keep our cool and don't take any crap from people. She does have advantages that the other girls don't have, like both parents still being around to support her, but she also has the smarts to help the group. I feel like Cathy could also be a leader, but that could be dangerous because she has emotional outbursts, and Jane is just a little too weird (but in the best way), and Jo could also be the leader because she is really really smart and she seems to get a lot of work done, though she does have some outbursts with Bhaer (Chris Acevedo) where she holds a knife to his throat and continues with her day. That was hilarious, and I loved it, but I do think that is the only reason she didn't take charge like Elizabeth did.

People who would like this show are people who like space, collapsing on pillows, and boss Marmee. I think that people should definitely, definitely, definitely go see this show. It was hilarious, amazing, and all of my favorite things put into one show: feminism, 19th-century books, and s'!

Photos: Evan Hanover

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