Reviews of shows from the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and other local venues published by the Los Cerritos Community News. The writer and paper are in their twentieth year of covering these events.

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Location: Fear City, Ca., United States

"My name is Addison DeWitt. My native habitat is the theater. In it I toil not, neither do I spin. I am a critic and commentator. I am essential to the theatre - as ants to a picnic, as the boll weevil to a cotton field." George Sanders in "All About Eve"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pride and Prejudice January 25, 2013

                     Cerritos Finds Pride and Prejudice 
                                            By Glen Creason
     After drifting in the great ocean of utter nonsense that is popular media it was wonderful to find a dry and enchanting land of live-theater culture at the sold-out Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts over the weekend. This fine terra firma was brought to us by LA Theater Works in the form of the merely two hundred year old “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen. On this two century anniversary the esteemed LA group distilled the essence of the novel into ninety riveting minutes without many bells and whistles but plenty of acting and staging talent.  With no props or backdrops save an ever-clever changing curtain and seven microphones this production was thought provoking, energetic and deeply romantic. All this was done with a versatile cast that played multiple roles without a misstep.  The lessons of the great book shine through via the skill of the director and cast to bring Austen’s words into complete focus without a speck of dust on a single sentence.  Since pride and prejudice still plague mankind, the demonstration of how both can be defeated by love and understanding still rings as true in Cerritos in 2013 as they did in Britain in 1813.
     With so much to admire but so little space I find it hard to limit the praise to six players but as the show was excellent overall, these half dozen were superior parts that made the whole perfectly wonderful. The all important roles of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy were expertly done by Julia McIlvaine and Nick Toren who never allowed these central characters to go over the top or become caricatures of the haughty rich nobleman and the skeptical young beauty. Darren Richardson had the difficult task of three roles: the go-between Mr. Bingley, the oozing villainous cad Mr. Wickham and the feckless relation Mr. Collins which he managed to accomplish with nuanced flair.  Jane Carr as the meddlesome Mom Mrs. Bennet and grand dame Lady Catherine deBourgh made both memorable and brightened everyone on stage with her performance.  The highly important narrator in this superb adaption by Cristina Calvit was Diane Adair who made the story shine and played two roles to boot. Still, the juicy role of Miss Caroline Bingley was brilliantly done by Cerris Morgan-Moyer who absolutely lit up the stage every time she spouted her characters delicious vitriol. 


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