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Review: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Gets Reimagined at Classical Theatre Company

Review: THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO Gets Reimagined at Classical Theatre Company

Classical Theatre Company Adapts a Classic Opera for the Modern Day

**On a more solemn note, two Houston based actresses and University of Houston alumni, Jeana Magallon and Elissa Cuellar, lost everything this week when their apartment burned down. They have an extremely bright future ahead of them and it would be a shame if this setback stifled their creative spirit. If you'd like to know more and donate please click here to be taken to a fundraiser organized by Classical Theatre's J. J. Johnston.**

"That's a lot of laughs in there," one kind audience member said to me during one of the intermissions. "A lot of witticisms." There's something special about seeing a piece of work from almost two hundred and fifty years ago manage to play to a modern audience.

The Marriage of Figaro, adapted from the classic opera, is filled with wordplay, pratfalls, people diving out of windows, mistaken identity, purple nurples, lovesick bachelors, sexually mischievous pages, fourth wall breaks, and pop culture references. One particular callback to the Smashing Pumpkins took me so off guard that I found myself snorting for five seconds straight.

The story is as complicated as it is simple. Figaro (Calvin Hudson), a sort of Everyman character, desires to marry the love of his life, Suzanne (Elissa Cuellar). Unfortunately, Count Almaviva (Kregg Dailey) wishes to disrupt their happy union. Through a combination of schemes and luck, Figaro, Suzanne, and Countess Rosine (Brittany Bush) fight back against the Count and society itself. That's the simple part. The complicated part comes with everything else. It was truly impossible to guess what would happen next in the play. A big standout is the midpoint trial where Figaro is being sued by an older woman who wants him to marry her. I wouldn't dare spoil how it gets resolved but it has some wacky implications.

The most striking element of The Marriage of Figaro is the excellent costume design by Leah Smith. The characters felt inseparable from their outfits which neatly fit them all into stock archetypes. They somehow managed to represent a stylistic version of the twenties while remaining true to how they were depicted in the original opera. It was incredibly easy to tell a character's personality strictly based on what they were wearing. Swap out young lovers with 1920's flappers and you maintain the same effect. A personal highlight for me was the massive zoot suit adorned by Count Almaviva that reminded me of a bunch of bricks domineering the stage.

The Marriage of Figaro has all the hallmarks of a Classical Theatre Company production. As reliable as always, I recommend it if you have a fascination with preserving the classics or just enjoy a modern take on an old tale.



Main Street Theater Presents Thomas Gibbons PERMANENT COLLECTION Photo
Main Street Theater (MST) is presenting Thomas Gibbons' riveting play, Permanent Collection. Inspired by events at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, one of the world's greatest collections of impressionist, post-impressionist & modern art, the play explores the impact of race and racial equity on society, through the lens of visual art.

Brave Little Company Presents GRANDPAS GARDEN Photo
In observance of Black History Month, Brave Little Company will partner with 5 venues to present Grandpa's Garden, an original musical. This immersive and interactive piece for kids aged 5-12 and their families explores Black history through an encounter with the fictional Hollis family, and their traditions of gardening and making music. 

A NUMBER Opens Rec Room Arts 2023 Season Of Plays In Downtown Houston Photo
Rec Room Arts has announced the opening of A NUMBER by Caryl Churchill. Preview performances begin on February 2, 2023 with an official press opening night on Saturday, February 4, 2023.

Interview: Philip Lehl on adapting SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL for Classical Theatre Company Photo
'I just really like the challenge of stage acting: repeating a performance and having it be different every time. In the theatre, all the time is spent socializing with people, working with people, and getting to know people. I've always loved the social aspect of the theater and acting is the best thing.'


From This Author - Christian Gill

Christian Gill - A native Houstonian and aspiring theatre maker, Christian Gill graduated from the University of Houston with a BFA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. His theatrical pursuits led him to... (read more about this author)


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