Advertisement

BWW Reviews: Mustard Seed Theatre's Exceptional Production of GOING TO SEE THE ELEPHANT

‚Äč

BWW-Reviews-Mustard-Seed-Theatres-Exceptional-Production-of-GOING-TO-SEE-THE-ELEPHANT-20010101

If you go in thinking you're going to see a pachyderm when you attend Going to See the Elephant, then you might be disappointed. However, the metaphor it represents is duly explained early on to avoid any unnecessary confusion. Instead, you'll be treated to a post Civil War tale of four women taking on the harshness of the Kansas prairie. It's a brilliant slice of pioneer life, buoyed by powerful performances and excellent direction. Mustard Seed Theatre's current production is a fascinating look at a bygone era.

At the Wheeler homestead, Belle “Maw” Wheeler, the resident “medicine woman” for the area, is attending to Mr. Nichols (voiced by Jesse Russell), who's come down with dysentery. His headstrong wife, Helene, is anxious to leave the prairie behind after a bad experience that took her son, but Maw knows that this is an illness not to taken lightly. Her pregnant daughter-in-law, Sarah, tends to the chores that must be done, while waiting for her husband and sons to return from town for their Fourth of July celebration. Meanwhile, their friend Etta Bailey shows up, curious as ever to see a new face, and preparing for her upcoming nuptials. Along the way, they must fend off vicious wolves and a drought.

Nancy Lewis is exceptional as Maw, determined to see her patient through to wellness, and pondering a journey to the Colorado Rockies to spend time as a nurse. Emily Baker also does fine work as Sarah, singing familiar folk songs as she tends to the laundry. She sees the beauty amidst the devastation that Kansas wilderness brings. Suki Peters is quite good as Helene Nichols, an educated woman from New York, who also happens to be a vegetarian. Jessica Haley neatly rounds out the cast as Etta, who was kidnapped by Indians before being rescued by her future husband.

Director Deanna Jent, who always does an excellent job with talented ensembles, excels again here with her tight knit cast, who are each a study in contrast. She's aided in her efforts by the rustic scenic design of Daniel Lanier and the period costumes of Jane Sullivan. Meg Brinkley contributes the believable props, and Michael Sullivan lights the action with considerable aplomb.

Going to See the Elephant is nicely realized period piece, and this production continues through September 16, 2012. Make time to see it!

More St. Louis!
Go to the Homepage


Comment & Share


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts
Chris Gibson Chris has been active in the local theatre scene for over 30 years. In addition to his acting work, he's also contributed as a director, writer and composer. Though, initially a film buff, he grew tired of the sanitized, PG-13 rated blockbusters that were being continually shoved down his throat by the studios. An opportunity to review theatre in St. Louis has grown exponentially with the sudden explosion of venues and talent in the region. He now finds himself obsessed with witnessing those precious, electric moments that can only happen live, on stage.


Advertisement
 
🔀ST. LOUIS SHOWS
Ghost Brothers of Darkland County in St. LouisGhost Brothers of Darkland County
(Runs 11/29 - 11/29)
Motown the Musical in St. LouisMotown the Musical
(Runs 11/18 - 11/30)
Annie in St. LouisAnnie
(Runs 12/2 - 12/7)
Pippin in St. LouisPippin
(Runs 12/10 - 12/14)
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella in St. LouisRodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella
(Runs 1/20 - 2/1)
Million Dollar Quartet in St. LouisMillion Dollar Quartet
(Runs 2/27 - 3/1)
Kinky Boots in St. LouisKinky Boots
(Runs 3/24 - 4/5)

View All | Add Show | Auditions

Message Board

R-S Theatrics? NEW

BWW BLOGS

Advertisement
Advertisement