Saturday, January 26, 2013

They Seek Him Here! They Seek Him There!

Last night we made our way over to Magna (about thirty minutes West of Salt Lake City) to attend a performance of The Scarlet Pimpernel at the Empress Theater. Magna seems like a little town. It has that quaint feeling, even though it looks like an extension of Salt Lake City. It reminded me of The Merc in Twisp and that small town feeling that Twisp is the embodiment of.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is one of my all time favorite stories. I remember reading it early in grade school (I think 6th grade) and falling in love with it from the start. Later, I discovered all of the film productions and then finally, four or five years ago, the musical production. It is a hidden gem, as many do not know of it, and yet the story is rather incredible.

It was Brandon's first exposure to the musical and for me there was a twinge of anxiety, the kind you get when you're introducing someone to something you very much like and hope they will like too. There is the worry that they may not like it straight out or that it may not be performed well enough to showcase how fantastic it is.

I wasn't disappointed. Initially I was a little nervous as the cast was clearly mostly of the 18-30 age range and seemed to be made up of the stereotypical slightly awkward drama types. The costuming wasn't fabulous and the dancing was ok. Not exactly a gripping start. But as the musical proceeded and the main cast were presented, I was very happy with the performance. Percy, a slightly round individual rather than the tall dashing character you expect, was excellent, portraying the character perfectly and had a wonderful voice. Marguerite, also slightly round, also did a fantastic job and had a beautiful voice. And Chauvelin completed their trio with a very strong voice. Anything I had to complain about in other details was made up in their performance. And the Prince of Wales - his subtle character acting was very humorous.

Very fun!

If I could have changed one detail, it would have been for those who were playing French characters to have dropped their French accents. At the Merc that was one detail that the director always pushed - no fake accents on a wide scale, unless they were being done to be intentionally fake. Putting on an accent sounds fun, and like it could be a good idea in an acting setting, but unless it is done remarkably well, it's just not a good idea in my opinion.

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