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Nigel Gore

Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight

April 14, 2023

Gunderson uses two actors to play Emilie and writer Voltaire who was her mentor, companion and lover, and then three actors to play everyone else, from Emilie’s mother, husband and daughter, to servants and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton and poet Jean-Francois de Saint-Lambert. As they do not change their costumes, we are never entirely certain who they are when they reappear. Throughout the play Emilie is working on the physics formula F=mv2 (known as force vive) which she attributes to German mathematician and thinker Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Unfortunately, this math will be foreign to most theatergoers who have not studied physics. Emilie narrates and addresses the audience, then turns back and interacts with the other characters on stage. She also keeps score in chalk on the walls as whether Love or Philosophy is in the ascendance. The play, cast as a flashback, has very short scenes so that a great deal passes in a short time. While the first act seems to be bits and pieces, the second act settles down into a more dramatic confrontation between Emilie and Voltaire and becomes more involving. MacGowan never finds the right tone to accomplish all of this. [more]

Bedlam’s Pygmalion

April 4, 2018

Scenic designer John McDermott has turned the black box space at the Sheen Center into an intimate amphitheater with the audience sitting around three sides of Higgins’ laboratory/study with no viewer more than four rows from the action. When Eliza arrives to arrange for lessons on her small income, we discover what we already suspected: this Eliza has been born in India and she is prone to speak in Hindi when she gets excited, just like her father Alfred Doolittle does when he follows her to Wimpole Street to see what he can get out of her good fortune - when she sends for her things but not her clothes. This adds a new, contemporary level to the play: Eliza is an immigrant rather than an East End cockney which contributes to the play’s current relevance. [more]

Sense and Sensibility

December 3, 2014

Janeites, arise! Take yourself to The Gym at Judson for Bedlam Theatre Company's world premiere stage adaptation of Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" that is inventive, faithful, clever and hilarious. Using a cast of ten versatile actors (playing 17 roles) under the brilliant and ingenious direction of artistic director Eric Tucker, the minimalist production contains all of the key scenes of the book while at the same time skillfully delineating the social fabric of the times. You may never have guessed how funny this story really is. Kate Hamill's marvelous play is one of the finest stage adaptations of a literary classic. Our Jane would have expressed her approval. [more]