Beauty, surprise and comedy abound at SAT
Performances of Oscar Wilde's play run through Oct. 5
The Importance of Being Earnest is not your everyday look into Victorian high society, and Sandy Actors Theatre brought it to life with beautiful scenery and wonderfully funny surprises.
On Saturday, Sept. 13, with the exception of a few dropped lines, Sandy Actors Theatre delivered a more than adequate interpretation of Oscar Wildes classic.
As usual, SAT did a wonderful job of creating a beautiful yet whimsical set to fit its small eclectic theater setting. The set, which was backdropped by a mural of Victorian flowers, used a screen with arbitrary looplike cutouts reminiscent of lace.
As audience members waited for the play to begin, looking at the beautifully dressed stage while listening to a piano playing created a subtle feeling of anticipation to prepare viewers to be transported to the past.
SAT kept up the charming use of sets throughout the play. Wilde did not make set changes easy for small troupes, drastically relocating his characters from a city to country setting part way through the first act.
Stage hands changed the set to depict the country atmosphere in character for the era of Wildes masterpiece. They acted like servants working throughout the households, so instead of leaving audience members bored and confused during a lengthy set change, they continued to engage onlookers.
The costumes, designed by Amy Kammerer and the plays director Anita Sorel, were lovely and complemented the set design perfectly.
As a big fan of The Importance of Being Earnest, I enjoyed the production. SAT actors delivered Wildes witty and comical dialogue clearly.
However, I felt that the energy of the actors wasnt as high in the first act as throughout the second. Although Wildes writing does become more engaging in Act II, the actors should take it upon themselves to be as engaging as possible throughout the entire play.
Along with the comic dialogue and blocking, SATs casting provided a playful surprise. Don Wrights portrayal of stuck up, yet clever, Lady Bracknell was spot on.
I thoroughly enjoyed his gender-bending performance that added an extra level of whimsy to the play. And I applaud his adaption to the characters wardrobe, including wig, floor-length Victorian gown and high heels.
Once again, I enjoyed Christopher Botcheos performance of Algernon Moncrieff. Algies character is one of my favorites, and I felt Botcheos did him justice. Botcheos employed just the right amount of arrogance, playfulness and clever wit needed for Wildes vital bachelor.
I also thought that Jessie Russell, as Cecily Cardew, and Olivia Welch, as Gwendolen Fairfax, interacted well as friends, enemies and, finally, as sisters.JW_DISQUS_ADD_A_COMMENT