MvVO Art Launches AD ART SHOW
Off Broadway

Jane Austin’s Sense & Sensibility is Bedlam

Jane Austin’s Sense & Sensibility is Bedlam

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austin’s Sense & Sensibility by the Bedlam Theater Company is highly energetic, frenetic and creative. Playing to sold out crowds at the Gym at Judson, adapted for the stage by Kate Hamill and directed by Eric Tucker, this is more of a Monty Python version than classical theatre. Taking extreme liberties with the text, the themes of the book stay intact, if not slightly off kilter. Part of this is due to the ensemble of 10 highly skilled actors who take on the assorted 23 major characters. The change is dizzying and sometimes hard to follow.

Laura Baranick, Jason O'Connell

Laura Baranick and Jason O’Connell

The show starts as the ensemble clad in street clothes, starts to dance as if at a rave. As the clothes morph from this century to early-19th-century, so does the dancing. In small breaks the characters mutter to themselves, each other and us, the gossip of the day. How the generation of today is obsessed with entertainment media and reality TV. This was the past generations format of entertainment. If you listen closely you can hear who is sleeping with whom, be it true or false. Think old style telephone. The game continues through out the show.

As the dancing ends, Mr. Dashwood (John Russell), kicks the bucket leaving his wife (Samantha Steinmetz), and three daughters: The eldest Elinor (Andrus Nichols), the sense of the story; Marianne (Ms. Hamill who also adapted the play), an overly romantic, dramatic passionate girl; and Margaret (Jessica Frey), the youngest. Mr. Dashwood’s son John (John Russell) by a previous marriage inherits everything because women were not allowed. Despite being well off, his selfish, vain wife Fanny (Laura Baranik) kicks the family out to a modest cottage, when Elinor falls for her Fanny’s brother Edward Ferrars (Jason O’Connell, who doubles as his foppish younger brother). Marianne flips for the handsome philander John Willoughby (John Russell) and becomes a scandal. Marianne spurns the dullish Colonel Brandon (Edmund Lewis) who truly loves her. This is a tale of All’s Well That Ends Well as hearts are broken and fate steps in so that true love wins in the end.

The actors are all winning in their craft. The direction by Eric Tucker is a masterpiece of swirling sets by John McDermott which make the while piece seem as if we are on the carousel of life and we are only its players. Weaving in and out are tables, chairs, a divan, French doors, trellises and tree’s, asking us to fall down this rabbit hole. Les Dickert’s perfect mood lighting lets us know the time of day, as well as the passage of time. We see the nightmares in which seems more real, than real life.

Bedlam’s Theatre Co. is a highly inventive company and they have a captive downtown audience. The audience was in stitches as they flock to this camp style version, which use the imagination.

Sense & Sensibility: Bedlam Theatre Company,The Gym at Judson, 243 Thompson St. Until April 17th then returning June 17-October 2

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

More in Off Broadway

Sunday in the Park, Isolating with Mandy and Bernadette, While Overlooking the Isle of Toronto

RossMarch 29, 2020

Are Nova Live Streams Rags Parkland Concert Today

Suzanna BowlingMarch 27, 2020

Terrence McNally Dies at 81 Due to Coronavirus Complications

Suzanna BowlingMarch 24, 2020

Good News For Lincoln Center Theater Shows

Suzanna BowlingMarch 24, 2020

Slowly Scheduled New Broadway Shows Fall From The Marquee as Awards Shows Move the Dates

Suzanna BowlingMarch 21, 2020

Ren Dara Santiago’s The Siblings Play Gets New Life On-line

Suzanna BowlingMarch 20, 2020

Coping and Being of Use: SAG-AFTRA Disaster Fund Announcement

RossMarch 19, 2020

He Says: The Anatomy of a Suicide Layers Up the Intensity

RossMarch 15, 2020

He Says: Unknown Soldier Climbs Up High

RossMarch 11, 2020