A perplexing Pericles

Nov. 30, 1999, midnight | By Robin Hernandez | 24 years, 7 months ago

Shakespeare fails to entertain high schoolers

Once again the Blair stage managed to bedazzle its audience with creative sets that simulated professional designs and a variety of interesting lighting selections for its production of Pericles. However the Shakespearean plot made for a complicated tale of love, adventure, and crime that that did not allow the actors to captivate the audience.

Pericles by William Shakespeare is a tragic play, with spurts of humor, but not enough to keep the audience interested. The play opens when Pericles, (junior John Visclosky) the Prince of Tyre sets sail to avoid death by his enemy, the evil King of Antioch. He lands ship wrecked on the coast of Pentapolis, where he falls head over heels for the beautiful Thaisa (senior Lindsay Hocker), and daughter of King Simonides (senior Brian Koss). However while Thaisa and Pericles travel on a boat, they encounter a terrible storm, during which Thaisa dies in childbirth. The superstitious sailors force Pericles to cast Thaisa's body overboard, however her body is recovered by the wondrous Cerimon (junior Elise Harvey).

The cast was very diverse and introduced many new Blair actors. It was nice to see a change from the same faces, however there was an inconsistency in the level of acting; it was easy to tell the experienced from the novice. However all deserve credit; the Shakespearean language is enough to throw anyone off, although there is a limit, and simply reciting dialogue crosses the line. There were some outstanding performances by junior Tanu Suri, who played the daughter of Thaisa and Pericles. And the veteran actors, seniors Josh Scanell and Lilah Shreeve, who play the owners of a brothel, also deserve kudos, although it would have been nice to see more of them. Senior Brian Koss also gave an animated, lively performance, which was much needed as the play began to dull.

Sophomore Rachel Martin who plays a lady and a whore, and also worked on the production staff as choreographer, deserves to be congratulated for her amazing dancing abilities. She performed a Middle Eastern routine that leaves the audience asking for more. Other choreographers, teacher David Minton and junior Julianna Allen and Michael Novello pulled off amazing fight scenes that resembled something in a Broadway production.

The music was occasionally too loud to hear the actors, however junior Sarah Brant's musical performance on the dulcimer was an interesting and much needed change.

Pericles does manage to surprise the audience with somewhat random scenes, the biggest of which is not the pirates, incest, or the resurrection, but rather a "traditional Shakespearean jig," which concludes the play. And although the play didn't compare to previous productions, the cast and crew did the best they could, considering the script and story.

Pericles can be seen November 21 and 22, and begins at 7:30 pm. Student and senior citizen tickets are $3 and adults are $6.

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