Fans with be thrilled with the triumphant return of Impro Theatre’s Jane Austen UnScripted to the Carrie Hamilton Theatre in Pasadena. Valentine’s Day opening night audience members were treated to a “chocolates” prompted fully improvised comedic two-act play featuring Regency sensibilities and a turn toward Northanger Abbey.
Members of the talented rotating cast on stage that evening demonstrated their remarkable, almost uncanny abilities as they worked together to tell the tale of a widowed mother, Mrs. Green, and her two “of an age” daughters who went on a tour to crumbling Thorne castle with friend-of-the-family Mr. Montgomery. Much merriment and laughter ensued, topped off with the requisite romantic matches ideal for Valentine’s Day or any other day for that matter.
In addition to playing memorable characters and in some cases multiple roles, the cast members provided sound effects from birds to horses’ hooves as they galloped and Eliot Hochberg on lights demonstrated remarkable improvisational skill of his own.
Every play is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece which encourages repeat visits to the theater to see what they will invent next. It is hard to imagine a better cast that that of opening night, but this reviewer has seen three Jane Austen UnScripted shows and each has been equally entertaining and delightful.
The rotating ensemble includes (in alphabetical order) Impro company members Tracy Burns, Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrickson, Brian Jones, Stephen Kearin, Lauren Lewis, Brian Lohmann, Nick Massouh, Jo McGinley, Dan O’Connor, Edi Patterson, Paul Rogan, Michele Spears, and Floyd Van Buskirk. The Jane Austen Unscripted cast will also feature guest artists, including (in alphabetical order) Josh Dean, Kelly Holden, Rebecca Lowman, Mike Rock, and Patty Wortham.
Set and costume design are by Sandra Burns, and lighting design is by Leigh Allen. Dan O’Connor produces for Impro Theatre.
Impro Theatre is an Unscripted Repertory Company that has brought innovative, unscripted theater to Los Angeles and the world. The company’s goal is to take core narrative and style elements of great playwrights and writers, and create a new play using no more than the essence of an author’s work and an audience suggestion. Most recently, unscripted explorations of great literary figures has included Shakespeare, Dickens, Stephen Sondheim, and Tennessee Williams. For more information visit www.ImproTheatre.com.
Jane Austen UnScripted performs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday through April 14, 2013. Tickets are $25 for regular performances (student and senior discounts are available). Call 626-356-7529 or visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.
The Carrie Hamilton Theatre is located upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Avenue, in Pasadena.
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