“PRIDE AND PREJUDICE” SPARKLES AT CT. REPERTORY IN STORRS


BONNIE GOLDBERG

Mr. and Mrs. Bennett of Longbourn House in Hertfordshire, England have been blessed with five beautiful daughters, but no sons to inherit their property.  In early nineteenth century British society, that fact means that the family’s future prosperity relies on finding wealthy suitors for the bevy of sisters.  Social class dictates that eligible bachelors must be located and secured, much like a wild horse must be caught, tamed and locked in the stable.

Jane Austen lends her wit and sophistication, her wry observations and delightful complications to the Bennett girls as they search for suitable mates in her “Pride and Prejudice,” which has been skillfully adapted to the stage  by Joseph Hanreddy and J. R. Sullivan.

Fly on wings of romance to the Nafe Katter Theatre on the University of Connecticut Storrs campus to see this magnificent Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s sterling production by Sunday, March 6.

With white gloved elegance, Elizabeth Bennett,  played with pique and prettiness by Alexandra Perlwitz, has an immediate distain for the aloof and curt Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, portrayed by a slightly arrogant but distinguished Kevin Coubal.  They meet at a ball, where Elizabeth’s older sister Jane (Alison Barton) quickly falls under the spell of their dashing new neighbor Mr. Bingley (Brian Patrick Williams).

Papa and Mama Bennett, gloriously played by Roger Forbes and Laurie Birmingham, stand helplessly by and watch as Jane and Elizabeth test their affections, and are soon overwhelmed when their youngest chick, Lydia, a rebellious and rambunctious Kelsea Baker, allows herself to be seduced by the likes of a scalawag named Mr. Wickham (Ryan Guess).

Travis George’s lovely sitting room set transforms itself to the swirls of romantic action under the skilled direction of Helene Kvale, aided by Laura Crow’s fine period costuming.

For tickets ($11-29), call 860-486-4226 or online at www.crt.uconn.edu.  Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Enter into a polished society where manners are everything, where lessons in the differences between pride and vanity are common place, where social standing is a requirement to uphold and making a proper marriage is serious business.

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