Burbage’s ‘Sense & Sensibility’ — shades of Molière


(A note from Don: After over 45 years of theatre reviewing, I hit a brick wall. My hearing aids died, I was in a bad mood, and I just wasn’t into the play I needed to review. Joyce, who has been my constant companion through all these years, has always helped me find a word or a phrase and correct my grammar and spelling. Never, ever, has she had the foggiest notion of writing a review. Until last night, as I was “sleeping on it,” and she came to her husband’s rescue.)

Burbage, under the direction of Madison Cook-Hines, has produced an original farce by Kate Hamill, based on Jane Austen’s stately novel.

Be prepared for a fun, frantic, fast-moving evening.

The actresses playing the three Dashwood sisters stay in character throughout the two-hour, two-act play. The rest of the ensemble play multiple roles, relying on a simple addition or subtraction of a costume or accessory to distinguish them.

There are multiple scenes with only the barest change of scenery (stools, chairs and tables) to suggest a location change. Actors run across the stage with a sign denoting the passage of time.

The play opens with the death of Mr. Ashwood. The daughters have lost their home to a distant cousin, moving in with various relatives and friends with different results.

In their society, the purpose of a woman’s life is to get married. There are various sincere and insincere suitors, most of whom seem attracted to the middle sister, Marianne (Marina Tejeda), leaving the oldest, Elinor (Catia) to be the voice of reason.

The entire cast is excellent, but I must single out Aaron Blanck as Mrs. Dashwood. He is priceless with his five o’clock shadow and bustier.

“Sense and Sensibility” gets its Rhode Island premiere at
Burbage Theatre, 59 Blackstone St., Pawtucket. The play will show now through Dec. 11. Call 484-0355 for reservations or go online to burbagetheatre.org.


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