Theatrical Review of Brighams Playhouse ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ by Blogger Jenny Hatch
— Jenny Hatch (@JennyHatch) April 8, 2015
This intimate theater just outside of St. George was the perfect venue to be introduced to a new musical. I have long loved the book The Scarlet Pimpernel and have read it a dozen times since first discovering it in middle school. The movie versions of the book have been high on my list of favorites as well.
I did not know it was a musical until I saw the advertising from Brighams Playhouse on their Facebook page announcing the 2015 Season.
After doing a bit of online research I discovered that the show has had a remarkable history, with many revisions and edits as it has woven its way into the Broadway lexicon.
I do not know which of the four versions were performed last night at the Playhouse, but the whole show was incredibly entertaining and delightful.
From the opening scene to the final curtain call, which I taped on my iphone, the cast did a remarkable job depicting the hilarious and exciting adventures of the protagonist Sir Percy Blakeney.
I knew the show would have a huge comedic effect because of my history with the book, but I was unprepared for how truly hilarious it would prove to be.
After one scene when Jadon Webster, who played Percy, delivered his humorous lines in the most devastatingly funny way, the audience broke into spontaneous laughter and applause and held up the show a full minute when he exited the stage simply out of adoration and love for what he had just performed.
It was non stop screwball acting and juxtaposed with the seriousness of the story, which is set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, guillotines, and bloody rebellion the contrasting of the humor with the war portion of the story was unexpected and welcome.
As wonderful as the drama around the daring of Sir Percy and his band of merry fops proved to be, the whole play is woven around a compelling love story between the husband Sir Percy Blakeney, his theatrical wife, Marguerite St Just and her former lover, Chauvelin.
The issues of intimacy and trust which are part and portion of all marriages was also depicted in a realistic and hopeful way as Percy and Marguerite danced through the story on a wave of forgiveness, understanding, and love.
Early in the play a series of events occur which create a wedge in the couples potential for intimacy. As the narrative unfolds, we observe Marguerite in various stages of grief as she mourns the unintended consequences of a family being murdered because of her actions. Marguerite is also stumped by a loveless marriage, and the potential loss of her brother after he is captured and imprisoned by French Revolutionaries.
The songs that have been written to convey these many emotions will undoubtedly become favorites of theatre goers in the years to come.
I look forward to seeing the movie version of this musical!
I adored this show and would encourage all Southern Utah theater goers to head over to The Playhouse for a wonderful and enjoyable evening of musical theater fun!
You only have one more week to see The Scarlet Pimpernel, so hustle on over to Brighams Playhouse tonight!