Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review of Pride and Prejudice at Lifeline Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Pride and Prejudice.   It was about a young woman who lived in this really crazy family and she met this man named Mr. Darcy (Dennis Grimes) who didn't like her family and was a very bad conversationalist.  This play is called Pride and Prejudice because Mr. Darcy is Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth (Laura McClain), the main character.  Mr. Darcy is very proud because he has a lot of money and usually, in books, people with a lot of money are usually very proud.  He has very rich and so-called nice people that are related to him.  He's proud of all of these amazingly rich-y things that happened to his friends and colleagues and relations. Elizabeth is prejudiced because she looks at Mr. Darcy and judges his book by the cover. 

This performance wasn't exactly like the book.  Elizabeth wasn't the narrator in the book like she was in the play.  But it is just better to have the main character narrate in a play because it is like telling someone about this time that happened, and if the narrator wasn't actually there it's not as realistic. Having her talk to the audience makes it seem more like she's the main character.  They like that character more if she's talking to them.  If Elizabeth didn't interact with the audience in the play, you would be missing all these funny parts that the narrator says in the book.  At the very start of the play Elizabeth comes over and says, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife" from the actual book.  But she keeps getting interrupted by her family.  It shows you it is a comedy/romance. They left out one of my favorite parts which was, "Time, and her aunt, moved slowly."  I just thought that was so funny; it left my mom and me laughing for like two hours.  But they put in a part to make up for that which was "Oh no!" when Mary (Cassidy Shea Stirtz) started playing the piano and singing because Mary was a pretty bad singer.

One of my favorite parts was when Mrs. Bennet (Cameron Feagin) jumps out of bed like she was never sick in her life.  "I'm just in my clothes!  and my shoes!"  She was in bed because Lydia (Kirsty Rivett) had run off with Mr. Wickham (James Gasber).  They ran away with each other in Bawwwth (Bath) where you can have bawths.  That's a true story.  You can actually have very good bawths in Bawwwth.  I really really like Mrs. Bennet, not because she's nice--she's actually kind of a weird character--but because she just makes weird and funny decisions.  She is very excited about this handsome man who is coming to visit.  I expected Mrs. Bennet to act weirdly funny and that was what Cameron did.  I thought she did an awesome job.

I thought Mr. Bennet (Don Bender) was really funny but in a different way.  Mrs. Bennet was funny in a way that just said this character is a character that is lovably enthusiastic.  Mr. Bennet is funny because he is very deadpan.  Like when he says "Thank you so much, Mary, you've delighted us long enough" when she's doing a terrible job at singing.  He thinks everything is something to laugh about.  He is basically like my grandpa--very ornery.

Mr. Collins (Phil Timberlake) is usually a very annoying character, but in this play, he is soooo funny.  One of my favorite parts was when he would lower his back slowly down and then with his arm behind him and his fingers moving in front and in back and his head lowered as well, and then he would make a proposal of something to do or a marriage proposal when he did that.  He was always doing some kind of proposal when he did that.  The thing that he cares most about, even more than his wife Charlotte (Chelsea Paice), is his patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh (Jan Sodaro).  You know that because he is always talking about her and how she is going to come over for dinner tomorrow like it is an awesome and amazing feat that is going to happen.

I loved the scene where Mr. Darcy was dancing with Elizabeth.  They start dancing because Sir William (Wm. Bullion) comes over and is like, "Join each other! Dance!" and Elizabeth is like, "ohhh. kaaay."  Then they were just standing there for awhile talking and then the other dancers were confused because they didn't have their third couple.  It is funny having two people talk in the middle of a dance when they are supposed to be dancing.  I looked at Charlotte's look and I noticed her look the most, it was just so fuh-larious.  She looked so confused and awesomely awesome.  And Jane (Amanda Drinkall) was also really funny because she was so absorbed in her future husband Mr. Bingley (Micah J. L. Kronlokken)  and she was just smiling and not noticing she was about to run into someone.  But fortunately, she didn't. This scene told you that Elizabeth and Darcy weren't best friends at all.  You think, "They are never going to get together.  They hate each other so much, why would they ever get together?"

 I was really happy that they used Kitty (Kelsey Jorissen) and Lydia talking about the officers from the book because it is just so funny to have these girls always chattering about the officers and how great they are and which ones are coming to the ball.  Them talking about the officers helps you remember that they are koo kooo!  I thought the sisters did a good job talking about the officer and how awesome they are. 

Laura McClain just seemed exactly how Elizabeth should be. She should be funny and smart and clever. And she has just the right amount of spunk to her. I just thought she looked exactly how Elizabeth should, which was a little coat and a long plain white dress.  I think Bill Morey did a thumbs-up job with costume design.  He made me want to wear Elizabeth's dress that he made. I thought Mr. Darcy was also just right because he did an awesome job of pretending to be mean in the play.  Then when he became nice, you are like, "How did he do that?"  And he did it with the power of acting. 

 I really liked the scene where Lady Catherine de Bourgh was trying to stop Elizabeth from marrying Mr. Darcy.  Lady Catherine's costume was a big enormous blue dress with peacock feathers all over.  It is so ridiculously awesome.  It made her seem very unreasonable with cash, like she buys stuff she really doesn't need.  The scene was satisfying because Elizabeth was just saying "I don't care.  I'll do what I want."  You are feeling like, "Wow, she is a very brave and sophisticated woman."

I think this show should be for ages 6 and up.  It is very kid-friendly, but it is pretty long.  So just warn the children that they will have to sit through a very long time, but there is an intermission. People that would like this show are people that like Jane Austen, officers, and women in peacock-feather dresses trying to get in the way of lovers.  People should see it because it is awesome, fun, and hilarious. 

Photos: Suzanne Plunkett