Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sense and Sensibility Sense-sational

The current production of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility at Book-It Repertory Theatre is great fun, and does the company's customary superb job of faithfully telling a story without having to cram every last page into a six-hour theatrical production. Kudos to adapter Jen Taylor and director Makaela Pollock for creating a delightful show.

Jessica Martin (left) as Marianne Dashwood and
Kjerstine Anderson and Elinor Dashwood in the
Book-It Theatre production of Sense and
Sensibility. Photo: Alan Alabastro.
An unexpected treat was the casting of Kjerstine Anderson as eldest sister Elinor Dashwood. We've enjoyed Anderson's work at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in recent years, especially a truly hilarious turn as Clarice in The Servant of Two Masters, for which she received a nomination for the best supporting actress Wisey back in 2009. Anderson doesn't get to be very funny as Elinor, what with all the fretting about where they're going to live and whether she'll ever hook up with Edward, but she carries the show marvelously. Karen Nelsen is a ball of fire as the nosy and meddlesome Mrs. Jennings, Angela DiMarco fiendish as the scheming Lucy Steele, and Jason Marr is fantastic as both the super-shy Edward Ferrars and his total doofus younger brother Robert Ferrars. (Has anyone else who has never read the Austen books but seen countless film and stage versions always thought the name was "Farris"?)

We have only a couple of small beefs with the show. The spectacular Shawn Law doesn't get nearly enough to do as John Dashwood and Mr. Palmer. Jessica Martin as Marianne Dashwood does a credible job of playing air-pianoforte, but certainly they could have rigged up some sort of set piece that looked like an actual instrument. And the curtain-based scene changes were a little goofy and blocked part of the view of the stage for some of the audience, such as my Sweetie, the official scorer's mom, who was in town and came to the show with us the second time we saw it.

Unfortunately, you can't go see Sense and Sensibility yourself. The final performance in the run is on stage even as I write this.

1 comment:

rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.