The cast of The Rivals proved to be as witty and comical as the script itself. A mix of quirky characters, beautiful costumes, and a well-designed plot brought out the best from Blair's thespians.
Richard Sheridans' The Rivals is a comedy about a couple that discovers the meaning of love though a long complicated plot filled with twists and turns and lots of surprises. Lydia Languish (junior Lilah Shreeve) plays a wealthy lady in love with a lower class man named Beverly (junior Josh Scannell). What Lydia doesn't know is Beverly is actually a highly respected captain named Jack Absolute who is engaged to marry her. As Jack tries to hide his true identity, he is faced with many problems when the plot intensifies and Lydia's suitors, also Jacks friends, challenge the mysterious Beverly to a dual. The true challenge, however, is whether Jack can convince Lydia to love him as Jack and not Beverly.
The acting of all the characters deserves high praise, but the real star of the show turned out to be Lydia's quirky aunt Mrs. Malaprop. Mrs. Malaprop (senior Lindsay Schubert) played her role of a wacky, know-it-all old lady perfectly. Her incorrect use of words proved to be the highlight of the show. In one scene Mrs. Malaprop promptly states Captain Absolute's manners are "the very pineapple of politeness," rather than the pinnacle of politeness. Another example is when she refers to Lydia's attitude as being as "headstrong as an allegory (alligator) on the banks of the Nile."
The stage crew deserves credit. The simple yet well-suited design set a perfect tone. The black and white background contrasted beautifully with elegant costumes designed by director, Kelly Newman.
Although the play was lengthy at times and hard to understand in others, the cast successfully performed the humorous play, or in the words of Mrs. Malaprop, it was filled with "hyrdosterics" (hysterics).
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