Sunday, September 4, 2011

Errant Heirs, Apparently

Back from last night's invited dress rehearsal for The Heir Apparent at Shakespeare Theatre's lovely Lansburgh venue on 7th Street.

The early 18th-century French farce by Jean-Francois Regnard (1655-1709) retained period costuming, while the text (all verse) had a complete 21st-century American makeover. Incongruous at first, but delivered with such energy and daffy deftness that it kept the audience roaring for just over two hours.

The brains of the operation (which was to extract a will from miserly Uncle Geronte that favored the Bertie Woosterish nephew Eraste) was the quick-thinking (and self-serving) valet Crispin, played with winking naughtiness by Carson Elrod.

The set design by Alexander Dodge was a character in itself. I hope it isn't too much of a spoiler to say that the big ugly clock--as noisy and elaborate in its machinery as it was fascinating in its ornate face design (Deco? Nouveau? Rococo-koo-koo?)--had personality that demanded its own plot point.

The play officially opens September 12 and runs through October 23. See it.

Credits as follows:

The Heir Apparent
Adapted by David Ives from the comedy by Jean-Francois Regnard
Directed by Michael Kahn

Crispin: Carson Elrod
Geronte: Floyd King
Eraste: Andrew Veenstra
Lisette: Kelly Hutchinson
Isabelle: Meg Chambers Steedle
Madame Argante: Nancy Robinette
Scruple: Clark Middleton

Set Designer: Alexander Dodge
Costume Designer: Murell Horton
Lighting Designer: Philip Rosenberg
Sound Designer: Christopher Blaine
Composer: Adam Wernick

Meet the cast event at Shakespeare Theatre: (left to right)
Playwright David Ives with the cast: Andrew Veenstra, Nancy Robinette, Carson Elrod, Meg Chambers Steedle, Floyd King, Kelly Hutchinson and Clark Middleton.

credit: Shakespeare Theatre

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