Master’s candidate LeeAnn Ducker made her directorial debut with a play of her own partial creation. Adapted from Moliere’s 17th-century satire, “Les Precieuses Ridicules,” Ducker’s “The Affected Young Ladies” is a play packed with energy and hysterics.
The season-opening show is revamped from 17th-century Parisian life into a hilariously relatable 2000’s style production. The production used a projector to show different characters’ Myspace accounts, a brilliant inclusion that helped sell the era of the play.
Before the show began, Brenna Petersen, as Madelon, and Brooklyn Long, as Cathos, engaged the audience in comedic improv. The actors asked the audience questions and made pop culture references, many to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, which helped develop the two characters’ bubbly, colorful personalities.
The small, intimate black box style venue made the audience feel as though they were walking right alongside the characters in the story. The venue also allowed for the chaos of the show as actors could easily run offstage or slam open a door for a dramatic entrance.
Petersen and Long took over the stage as a pair of eccentric cousins who are new to the world of fame and big city life in Los Angeles. They both gave excellent performances and showed off their dancing talent in the play’s boisterous dance scenes.
Dinvela Adam and Wesley Miller served as the uptight rejected suitors, Du Croisy and La Grange. The two made a lively pair and complemented each other’s characters exceptionally well.
Christian Garcia plays Gorgibus, father of Madelon, who is set in old ways and wishes the girls be married to Du Croisy and La Grange. Garcia commanded attention in his performance with the outbursts of his character, especially the foul-mouthed fit at the end of the show that left the audience in stitches.
Brian Vigen played the Mascarille of Marquis, a “poser-hating” hipster, excellently. Felix Ferris served as Marquis’ friend, Victor Jodelet. The two made an amusing pair playing their roles of cringy, fame-obsessed men who, come to find out, are not what they seem.
Jocelyn Losak played a computer-obsessed emo girl. She, without many words, became a crowd favorite with her sassy attitude and hilarious facial expressions. Audrey Grantham gave a great performance in the role of a traditionalist maid who is often annoyed with Madelon and Cathos.
As a whole, the production is an hour of hilarious absurdity and unabridged enjoyment. Ducker did an amazing job honoring the satire and ridiculousness of Moliere while making a light-hearted production that was genuinely humorous.
“The Affected Young Ladies” will be running from October 11-15 at the TWU Redbud Theatre. Be sure to show up early to see the priceless pre-show improv!
Hannah Everett can be reached via email at email@example.com.