Review: AN HONEST APOLOGY Premieres at FreeFall Stage

The production runs through March 10th

By: Feb. 22, 2024
Review: AN HONEST APOLOGY Premieres at FreeFall Stage
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Being the first to review a new work is always a pleasure, particularly when that work is as engaging as James Van Eaton’s An Honest Apology. This play is a mixture of Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen, full of witticisms and satire directed towards those who are concerned with their place in high society. In addition, exaggerated affectations and hilariously shallow characters make this an intriguing period piece about learning humility and grace.

Van Eaton’s characters are likable, even Alexander Collier (Evan Taylor). The “consummate dandy,” Collier’s self-absorption (“I’ve become a fine young man, admired by many…”) comes across as an amusing quirk that his friends and family have learned to deal with. That is, until he receives a letter stating that, in order to receive an inheritance from a mysterious relative, he will need to find the person he has most wronged and deliver “an honest apology.” Collier is tempered by his more even-keeled assistant, Stephen Carlyle (Brevon “Ace” McArn), who is also on a quest of his own. He is trying to prove himself worthy of the love of Collier’s former love interest, Bethany Reid (Ronnie Duska Fowler). What follows is a bumbling and thoroughly charming spectacle of misunderstandings and misconceptions that culminates in a surprise ending.

This troupe of amateur actors has done justice to Van Eaton’s script. Taylor was recently seen in another Freefall Stage period piece, Pride and Prejudice. He brings the same animation to Collier as he did to Mr. Darcy, securing the audience’s immediate recognition and support. McArn’s performance as Carlyle may be my favorite. His calm demeanor and matter-of-fact attitude contrasts nicely with Collier’s excitability. I also enjoyed Fowler’s interpretation of Bethany as an independent, confident, and no-nonsense young woman reminiscent of Elizabeth Bennet. She nails the attitude and lets her femininity peek out at just the right moments. The entire cast deserves recognition for their talent and dedication to this entertaining piece.

An Honest Apology plays at FreeFall Stage through March 10. Tickets and more information may be found at

Photo credit: Emma Eldridge