Sep. 22nd, 2010

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I was invited to see the dress rehearsal of KWLT's The Penelopiad and I must confess that I went in somewhat .. well, begrudgingly is the wrong word, but it definitely wasn't eagerly. Why? It wasn't because I expected it to suck; it among its cast a number of women I admire greatly and a director who's produced great work in the past. So why? Well, honestly, for two reasons:

1) I'm crazy-sensitive to violence (it was all I could do to keep from bolting out of my seat and out the door right beside me during the Valmont attacks Tourvel scene last year, and I couldn't actually *watch* it all), and a lot of the discussion around Penelopiad has been about the dark and twisty.

2) Frankly, I like my visual entertainment light and somewhat fluffy. That's just who I am.

So yeah, I went in expecting to appreciate it, but mostly I went because I was asked to.

With that said, I was blown away with how riveted I was. The script itself was way more compelling than I'd expected, and the actresses completely worked it. The choreography, specifically the weaving, was, IMO, inspired and the music/singing was some of the best I've heard in a KWLT production. Of special note, there were two points in which the harmonization of Erin, Mel, and the lady whose name escapes me right now was sublime, but all of the cast members have clearly been working hard on the music as much as the dialog.

While the piece is definitely a strong ensemble work, and the entire cast was strong, a couple of people really stood out for me. Jessica C was an inspired and solid anchor as Penelope, and to say that she had me at hello isn't an exaggeration. No-one who hasn't been reading Ange's LJ for the past month would guess that she was a late replacement; she's especially wonderful as Telemachus. And the lady who played the nursemaid evoked some very strong responses (I'm not going to say more since to explain why would be a total spoiler) from me.

The play opens on Thursday, and runs for three weeks (Thurs-Sat). I'll be going again towards the end of the run.

And now, to bed.

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