The Odyssey Theater Ensemble in West Los Angeles was packed and even had a waiting line for the third weekend performance of Misalliance by George Bernard Shaw.
A charming, very British, farse, Misalliance (directed by Elina de Santos) tells the story of two families – The Tarletons and the Summerhays – during the spring of 1909.
A self made man, John Tarleton ( Greg Mullavey) is at his summer home in Surrey with his wife (Maggie Peach), daughter Hypatia ( Abigail Rose Solomon) and their son John, Jr (Christopher Franciosa) and he’s joined by Lord Summerhays (Armin Shimmerman) and his obnoxious son, Bentley ( Orestes Arcuni) who hopes to wed Hypatia. Hypatia, however, has other plans for her life and is determined to have some adventures and not stay stuck in the polite role set out for women. A spirited woman, she is determined not to define herself by what men thought.
When a plane crashes into their green house, the flyer turns out to be none other than Joseph Percival ( Nick Mennell), a former school chum of Bentley’s. Not only does Joseph’s presence wreck havoc on Bentley’s plans, but his passenger, the noted acrobat Lina Szczeoanowska ( Molly Schaffer) also disturbs the males of the household. Just as it seems things are about to be solved, in comes gunman Julius Baker ( David Clayberg) determined to effect revenge upon John Tarleton for what happened to his mother. By the end of the evening, there are eight marriage proposals on the table – some will succeed and some will not.
The program is put on by Rosalind Productions whose motto is to Entertain, Empower and Enlighten. Their philosophy is evident in their choice of stories in which the female characters are complex and as influential as the male characters,
The play itself ran a bit longer than expected and many people were seen glancing at their watches as every time it appeared to end a new twist was added. To have really appreciated the play, you have to enjoy Shaw and his works and understand his time period as much of the theatre then was long winded.
The actors, however, were great and only a few times was the fall from British English to American English noted. It takes great talent to pull off accents.
Ms. DeSantos was assisted by Jeffrey Philips, while Henry Lide managed the stage along with Megan Wright, Technical director was Scott Tuomey and master electrician Angeline Summers Marvel. Carpenters were DJ Higgenbottom, Danny Felix and Danny Truxaw. Tanya Perez did her share in marketing the play while Michah Freedman designed the set and Molly Crabapple did the illustrations. Photographs of the cast were done by Christopher Moscatuello. Publicity was done by Philip Sokoloff and casting by Raul Clayton Staggs
The play will run until April 26th and costs for seats are $25 (with special prices for students and groups. To reserve seats call 310 477 2055
Further information can be had at www.RosalindProductions.com