THEATER MIRROR REVIEWS - "She Stoops to Conquor"

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |



entire contents copyright & copy; 1996, 1967 by THE THEATER MIRROR

"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


Reviews of Current Productions


note: entire contents copyright 1997 by Larry Stark


"She Stoops to Conquer"

by Oliver Goldsmith
Directed by Richard Gilman

Scenic Design by Andrew Macie
Lighting Design by Linda O'Brien
Costume Design by Jana Durland Howland
Sound Design by Mercedes Roman
Production Stage Manager Neill MacLeod-Hunter

Tony Lumpkin....................Dawson Hill
Jeremy...........................Becky Long
Young Marlow................David DelGrosso
Miss Hardcastle................Natalie Gold
Hastings......................Jeff Donnelly
Miss Neville...................Kate Hanavan
Mrs. Hardcastle.....Mary Daugherty-Stanford
Hardcastle.......................Jim Hollis
Diggory.......................Matt Trumbull
Maid........................Kierstyn Penman
Roger..........................David Fisher
Sir Charles Marlow.......Michael Fitzgerald
Landlady.......................Chase Carter
Townsfolk/Servants.....Noeleen Tadaro, etc.



If the characters in "Our Country's Good" at B.U. --- convicts in Australia in the 1790's --- had seen this Emerson production of "She Stoops to Conquer" their view of acting as a festooning of every line with exaggerated gestures would make perfect sense.

The energy, volume, and unending physical inventiveness of the Emerson cast carried the day, providing enough mugging, dumb- show, histrionics, knockabout rough and tumble, and scene-stealing bombast to keep an army of groundlings howling for more. Oliver Goldsmith's farce may never be taken seriously again.

Goldsmith's problem was seeing to it that the right lovers ended legally bedded with their true loves, their fat inheritances still intact, despite parental oppositions. And this particular play has a new wrinkle in that the hero can be brazenly comfortable with barmaids, but is so paralysed by respectable girls he can't even look at them and prattles like the nervous suitor he is. His intended "stoops" of course by pretending to be a barmaid, and getting both his father and hers to witness his relaxed declaration of love.

She can do this because he comes to her ancestral home believing it's an inn, believing her father an inn-keeper, believing their hospitality is his for hire, and believing she's come to the same "inn" by happenstance.

Director Richard Gilman apparently too one look and, deciding no modern audience could believe such gullibility, decided to push the limits of believability to the extreme. And so Becky Long's turn as a drunken butler would give Olliver Hardy and even Chaplin lessons in timing. Dawson Hill's brash trickster Tony Lumpkin writhes and wriggles himself into poses worthy of World Wrestling spatting with his unwanted love (Kate Hanavan), yet his gunboat-stepmother (Mary Daugherty-Stanford) blissfully believes their briefly feigned tryst.

In Andrew Macie's elaborately detailed set and Jana Durland Howland's precise 1903 costumes, the welter of sight-gags upstages Goldsmith two falls out of three --- but in the principals at least what's been added is often the equal of what has been snubbed. And the cast remains ebulliantly in motion till the very last curtain-call.

Love,
===Anon.


at

THE EMERSON MAJESTIC THEATRE
219 Tremont Street, BOSTON
till 22 February
1(617)824-8000



THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide

| MARQUEE | USHER | SEATS | INTERMISSION | CURTAIN |