On Dec. 2, the UVU Department of Theatrical Arts opened its production of She Stoops to Conquer. Written in 1773, Stoops is about the trouble of courtship when what you want doesn?t always match up with what you see. Throw in a painfully shy young man and his foppish friend, a boorish gentleman with an overbearing mother, a few mistaken identities, an ill-trained group of house servants, and a case of “missing” jewels, and the results are a delightful show that has audiences rolling in the aisles.
One of the gems of the play is the friendship between Mr. George Hastings (Trevor Robertson) and Mr.Charles Marlowe, Jr. (Jason Sullivan). The two share a special camaraderie that accepts each other?s faults but doesn?t miss a chance to have some fun at the other?s expense. The character of Marlowe is con?dent and charming except when he is around a lady of good standing. He practically falls to pieces in a painful display of embarrassment and awkwardness. Sulivan pulls this characterization off beautifully, and has the audience howling and grimacing in sheer delight at the misfortune of Marlowe.
As with most UVU productions, what makes Stoops exceptional is the ensemble work. The cast is completely united in their dedication to telling this story. Each role is played with sincerity and realism, without trying to steal the spotlight. The cast works together as an ensemble, which results in an enthralling show. The minor roles were just as entertaining to watch as the leads, such as Robbie Pierce?s portrayal of Diggory the servant who seems to have a desire to keep a chicken as a pet.
There is an unexpected and delightsome aspect of Stoops that makes it completely unforgettable. Director/professor Christopher Clark has fused modern technology with the 18th century setting. Without giving away any spoilers, the play takes stabs at of such things as Facebook and texting in a very literal sense. It also takes advantage of these technological commodities to allow a special and hilarious interaction with the audience. Anyone who is planning on attending the play is advised to not only bring their cell phone but to be sure to keep in on.
She Stoops to Conquer is running now through Dec. 11 at the Noorda Theater. Tickets are $7 with UVU ID, $9 with other student ID, and $11 for non-students and can be purchased at the theater box of?ce or online at uvu.edu/theatre.