BWW Reviews: ENCHANTED APRIL Breaks the Monotony at Mad Cow
Anyone who has ever wanted to run away from their daily life will connect with ENCHANTED APRIL. Based on a novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, it is the story of four English women living during the 1920s, hoping to escape from dreary London for a holiday in Italy.
With the ins and outs of her droll daily life and the constant rainy London days, Lotty Wilton, a dreamy rebellious lady, realizes that there is something missing in her life. The adventure begins when she meets Mrs. Rose Arnott, a conservative, but impressionable housewife. They are provided for, but their marriages are not perfect.
After finding an advertisement in the local newspaper, the pair contrives a way to fulfill their Italian dreams. In order to meet expenses they find Caroline Bramble, a young modern lady hoping to escape from her busy life, and the stoic Mrs. Graves. Then there is the drama of wives disobeying their husbands and wondering if the made the correct choice. This story is like a post World War I Under the Tuscan Sun, where each woman learn a little about life, love, and happiness.
The second act magically transforms the dreary London set to a warm Italian villa filled with flowers. The ladies grow close and let loose sharing their dissatisfactions about life. At the villa, the ladies meet Costanza, the hilarious Italian-speaking housekeeper and the handsome homeowner Mr. Wilding. Most of the ladies rediscover love and learn that life is not just about where you are, but how you live your life.
Melanie Whipple charms as Mrs. Lotty Wilton who portrays a stifled passion that is released into pure joy when she achieves her dream. Elizabeth Dean as Mrs. Arnot is cautious, but lovely. It is hard not to fall in love with each of the ladies.
Also of note are the set changes that occur as though dancing with furniture and umbrellas. The Italian villa is simple and beautiful. Overall, the only way to describe this story is enchanting.
Directed by Aradhana Tiwari, ENCHANTED APRIL features Melanie Whipple as Lotty Wilton, Elizabeth Dean as Rose Arnott, Tommy Keesling as Frederick Arnott, Karel Wright as Mrs. Graves, Andrew Stark as Antony Wilding, Piper Patterson as Caroline Bramble, Stephen Lima as Mellersh Wilton, and Becky Eck as Costanza. ENCHANTED APRIL runs at Mad Cow Theatre until April 14, 2013. For tickets visit www.madcowtheatre.com.
Photo Credit: Tom Hurst