'Sense and Sensibility' to open at The Armory
For The Review, Tidings
Portland Center Stage at The Armory brings Kate Hamill's hit adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" to Portland in a vivacious production originally created by renowned New York theater company Bedlam.
Hamill's fresh take on female-centered classics made her one of the most-produced playwrights across the country for the past two seasons.
In keeping with that spirit of re-invention, Bedlam's production combines a traditional regency setting with a fast-paced, kinetic, theatrical staging that fills Austen's iconic romance with warmth, wheels and one or two surprises. The New York Times called it an "enchanting romp of a play ... furniture is being constantly rearranged (often at dizzying speed) to denote not only changes of place but also of emotional temperature."
As The Boston Globe put it, "Jane Austen is alive and well and rolling on casters."
Eric Tucker, who directed the award-winning world premiere of Hamill's "Sense and Sensibility" at Bedlam, directs a cast that includes Portland favorites Danea C. Osseni ("The Color Purple") as Elinor Dashwood and Quinlan Fitzgerald ("The Humans" at Artists Repertory Theatre) as Marianne Dashwood.
They are joined by Lisa Birnbaum, Kelly Godell, Lauren Modica, Chris Murray, Violeta Picayo, Darius Pierce, Ryan Quinn and Jamie Smithson.
"I wrote 'Sense and Sensibility' because I believe so deeply that the classics belong to everyone," Hamill said. "I think its popularity is a testament to how many people — like me — are hungering for female-centered stories."
Bursting with humor and bold theatricality, this charming and wildly inventive staging of Austen's classic romance follows the adventures of the Dashwood sisters — and a whirlwind of snippy town gossips — after their sudden loss of fortune.
The show will run Jan. 18 through Feb. 10 (Preview performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12-13, 15-17), on the U.S. Main Stage at The Armory, 128 N.W. 11th Ave., Portland.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and Thursday noon matinees. Regular tickets range from $25 to $87 and may be purchased at www.pcs.org, by calling 503-445-3700, or in-person from the box office, 128 NW 11th Ave., Portland.
The show is recommended for ages 12 and up. Children under 6 are not permitted at any production at The Armory.