BWW Review: FALLEN ANGELS - A Heavenly Comedy
Noël Coward's comedy, FALLEN ANGELS, produced by Different Stages and running at The Trinity Street Theatre is a sublimely entertaining evening at the theatre.
FALLEN ANGELS written in 1925 may not be as well known as Coward's other plays, BLITHE SPIRIT and PRIVATE LIVES, but it has all of the hallmarks of his rapier wit and brilliant storytelling. As the play begins, we are introduced to Julia and Fred Sterroll (Rebecca Robinson and Michael Costilla), a middle aged couple living in London who may not have a great passion for each other, but are comfortable in their marriage. Upstairs neighbors, Jane and William Banbury (Emily Erington and Daniel Rice) are the Sterroll's best friends. When the men leave for a golfing holiday, the ladies receive postcards from their former lover Maurice Duclos (TJ Moreno), the mysterious Frenchman who they are still in love with. Rounding out the cast of characters is Saunders (Katherine Schroeder), the Sterroll's maid, who has had more jobs than Homer Simpson. The friends plan, at first, to run away in order to avoid their own weaknesses for Maurice, but their imaginations take over and they orchestrate a dinner to meet their lover. Upon remembering that they are insanely jealous of each other over the romantic Maurice, insults begin to fly as champagne is consumed and the result is hilarious. One can only imagine the shock of 1920's audiences when confronted by the topic of married women lusting over a man who wasn't their husband. Coward superbly handles the situation comedy with his glorious dialogue and keen insight into the human condition.
Robinson and Erington are marvelous as the leading ladies, Julia and Jane. Both play the roles with verve and make the audience fall absolutely in love with them. The drunk scene between the best friends, worth the price of admission, is brilliantly played and superbly directed. Both women sport spot on accents, clear, crisp and precise, an utter delight to the ears. Schroeder has some wonderful moments as the know-it-all maid who hasn't a clue as to what the ladies are really up to. Costilla, Rice and Moreno as the men are all good, but it's the women that make this show shine. Costumes by Ann Ford are beautiful and perfectly reflect the roaring 20's style, the evening dresses are especially pretty. The set design by Ann Marie Gordon is lovely and gives the impression of a larger space. Kudos to director Norman Blumensaadt for putting together a smart and stylish production. I recommend FALLEN ANGELS to anyone who enjoys classic comedy and an extremely enjoyable evening at the theatre.
FALLEN ANGELS by Noël Coward, Directed by Norman Blumensaadt
Different Stages at The Trinity Street Theatre, 901 Trinity Street, Austin
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours with 2 intermissions
TICKETS: $15 - $30 at main.org/diffstages
January 8 - 30, Thursday - Saturday at 8:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM