Pride and Prejudice (review)

Pride and Prejudice (review)
Pride and Prejudice (review)
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THE PLAY: A stage adaptation of the popular Jane Austen romance.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Some novels should never be turned into plays and this is one of them.  The sprawling story requires too much narration, instead of relying on character interaction. It isn’t helped by the uneven production and a lack of rebuff/attraction chemistry between the leads (Irene Kuykendall & Axle Burtness). The flowery language often gets lost from unintelligible delivery. Stage vet Joe Pabst shows how it’s done: He makes every line easy to hear and appreciate, while creating one of the show’s strongest personalities. Some delightful moments were provided by Allison Page GIlman’s spunky Mary, while Joel White’s bufoonish Mr. Collins seemed to be in a different style/show. Director Christopher Owens created some nice stage pictures, but let the action proceed at the same medium pace/delivery throughout. This lack of variety turned tedious. Reed West designed attractive scenic elements that glide around the stage in various configurations, while Patricia Wesp created pleasant period costumes. Running time: 2:25

NOTE: On opening night the show’s Dialect Coach Erica Hughes substituted for Melissa Johnston Price. I don’t know if she was copying/channeling Price’s performance, but Hughes created the show’s most winning comic performance.

 

THE POINT: While there are some enjoyable elements, this somewhat complex plot gets lost with inarticulate actors and passive pacing.

 

(2 / 5)

 

A Quill Theatre production at VMFA’s Leslie Cheek Theatre thru 3/24

1 Comment

  1. In the closing performance, the chemistry between Darcy and Lizzie was warmer. In fact so warm that Axle actually proposed marriage to Irene as the curtain call ended! Melissa Johnston Price roles were in fact the greatest comic moments! P & P doesn’t play well as a farce!

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