Think of the most embarrassing moment you’ve ever experienced in your dating history…
--Maybe you lost track of time and showed up late to your date?
--Or perhaps you forgot your date’s name and had to abashedly ask them to remind you?
But have you ever mistaken your date’s parents’ house for an inn?
That’s only the start of our comedic chaos. Here at American Players Theatre, we’re in for a plethora of dating mishaps and misunderstandings in their production of SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER.
American Players Theatre Plays Some Jokes
The Hardcastle residence stands stately before us with rich home finery. Grand, luxurious, furniture sits in the parlor room. A grand wooden staircase ascends to the rooms above. And old family portraits line the walls giving a grand air to the whole room.
Mr. and Mrs. Hardcastle enter their fine living room and discuss the futures of their respective children. Mr. Hardcastle’s daughter, Kate, is to meet a fine gentleman this very evening in hopes the two will be married. And Mrs. Hardcastle hopes her son, Tony Lumpkin, will also be wed to their family friend, Constance Neville.
Tony has no interest in marrying however, and takes it upon himself to engage in a little mischief that sets the whole family into a tizzy. He sends Kate’s suitor to the Hardcastle house with the misinformation their house is an inn he may stay at that evening. Unfortunately for Tony, he also inadvertently speeds up his own impending marriage.
In a whirlwind of confusion and quick thinking, Constance and Kate try to work the situation to their advantages, but how low must they stoop to do it?
Hitting the Comedic Bits
SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER is full of witticisms and punchy bits that our cast takes full advantage of, and, in this writer’s opinion, also adds some well-timed slapstick humor that elevates the script.
Marlow, played by Jamal James, hits his bits as an overconfident, pompous young man when in the presence of the mistaken “innkeeper.” Play him against the mistaken innkeeper, James Ridge as Mr. Hardcastle, and we are roaring with laughter as we watch Hardcastle reach his wits end.
Phoebe González as Constance is running all over the place trying to make sure she’s not married off to Tony. Pair her with Josh Krause as Tony Lumpkin and they’ve got us in tears as as they bicker and fight like brother and sister.
Our leading lady, Laura Rook as Kate, switches from a London accent to a cockney one with ease as she stoops to conquer and get Marlow to profess his love for her. She comes out on top int the end managing to both woo Marlow and straighten out all his misdeeds at once.
SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER highlights all the funny bits in Oliver Goldsmith’s script and our cast accents them even further with over-the-top physicality. This show is a good fit for anyone who loves witty comedies and physical humor.
La Shawn Banks
Michael A. Peterson
Jessica Bess Lanius
Now through September 20, 2019
Performance schedule varies; check website for details
American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Rd.
Spring Green, WI
Full price tickets can be purchased through the American Players Theatre website or by calling the box office at 608.588.2361
Photos by Liz Lauren
About the Author
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski