Wednesday, Feb. 29, saw the newest McDaniel Theatre production come to life in its opening performance.
“Rivals,” written by R. Sheridan, falls under the genre heading of Comedy of Manners, a primarily British style in which the underlying narratives of the script, and its characters, poke fun at the high-headed aristocracy.
The various love-plots that are presented follow suit, mocking the concepts of arranged marriages, seemingly innocent meetings, secret love letters, and even mistaken identity, and are made even more humorous when the setting of notoriously promiscuous Bath, England is taken into account.
However, with these multi-layered love-plots comes an issue. Keeping track of who loves whom, and how who knows what becomes difficult to follow through the entirety of the show. Audiences must perk their ears and remain fully alert in order to fully understand the whole picture that is presented.
Having said this, many of the performances were of a notably high-caliber. Kevin Anderson, freshman, especially kept the audience laughing with his portrayal of Sir Anthony Absolute, a wealthy baronet seeking love both vicariously through his son, and of his own accord.
This performance, when paired with junior Simone Davis’ portrayal of Mrs. Malaprop, a dignified woman of class, showcased an on-stage dynamic that truly captured the nature of the Comedy of Manners, and never failed to generate a response from the crowd.
These performances, as well as the remainder of the cast’s, can be seen Thursday, March 1 through Saturday, March 3 at 7:30pm in McDaniel College’s WMC Alumni Hall. Doors open at 7:10pm and tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors, students, and the McDaniel College Community.
Be sure not to miss this opportunity to see theatre on the Hill, especially theatre as amusing and well presented as “The Rivals.”