Monday, March 30, 2015

review - THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL - Actor's Youth Theatre

Liam Thibeault and Cast
Photo: Lisa Webb / Southwest Shots Photography
For more information on this production, that runs through April 4th, click here

"Actor's Youth Theatre has found three very capable leads to portray the characters entangled in the romantic triangle at the center of this story of intrigue, secret identities, and swashbuckling derring-do.   Liam Thibeault, who was so impressive in Southwest Shakespeare's King John a few months back, is Percy, and he is delivering a winning performance. He manages to effectively portray both the comical side of the character and the more adventurous daredevil side equally. Behind the foppish façade, Thibeault expertly shows us the intelligent, caring and loving man, but he also has a blast in the comical prancing about that the character does. Likewise, Jessica Sinodis is very good as Marguerite, especially in how she achieves a measure of mystery in the part. While we don't quite know if she is a spy or not, the fact that Percy believes that she is puts a strain on their relationship. Both Thibeault and Sinodis are quite good at showing us how that uncertainty affects how they interact with each other, with Sinodis' facial expressions and body language excellent as the woman who can't quite understand why the man she married has changed so much. They both also manage decent English and French accents. While the two struggle just a bit on some of the sustained high notes in the score's rangier power ballads, they still deliver touching, engaging and extremely likable performances. As Chauvelin, Isaac Dowdle has the right level of menace and determination and he also manages a capable French accent. His deep voice achieves some nice notes in his singing, the best in the cast. The obsession Chauvelin has with capturing the Pimpernel transfers to his delivery of the lyrics, almost spitting some of them out. It is an engaging performance with assured singing.   As in most youth theatre productions, there are a few actors who don't sing quite as well as the rest of the cast, or occasionally are out of tune or off pitch, and there are times when the un-miked cast needs to project more, but those moments are few and far between.
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a fun musical, filled with humor and intrigue. Actor's Youth Theatre's production shows that a cast of talented teenagers is more than capable of delivering the story in a comical and rousing way with winning results." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)


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