Some people wait all their lives to find that special someone, while others can experience love at first sight. But, if that long-awaited love craving is for three oranges, can the search be very fruitful? This citrus situation was delectably portrayed this weekend in the Episcopal Academy Domino Club's production of "The Love of Three Oranges."
Based on a comedic scenario from Commedia dell'Arte, a theatrical style from sixteenth century Italy, "The Love of Three Oranges" is a play written by Hillary DePiano. Its plot centers around a prince who is cursed by the infamous Fata Morgana, an evil enchantress, to fall in love with three very specific oranges. Upon discovering his pulp-filled prizes, the prince cuts them open to reveal a beautiful princess, who he will marry against the will of Fata Morgana and her cohorts.
With a cast of only nineteen, the students of the Episcopal Academy overcame their small quantity by filling the room with excess energy. Each cast member played his or her part in perfecting the fluidity of the show. The synchronization with which the players accomplished their precise comedic timing, effective prop usage, and energized performance overall was truly remarkable.
With her enthusiasm and attention-grabbing quirks, Megan Kilcullen, who played both the narrator and Celio the Magician, served as the comedic glue of the show, making sure that each scene was tied together with playful progression. Also shining among the leading cast were Paige Dunlap as Prince Tartaglia and Maria Burke as Truffaldino, a famous jokester. The duo kept the audience in stitches with every amusing antic they executed.
The supporting cast comprised of several noteworthy performers, including Joanie Hofmeyr as Pantalone and Creonta, Connor Boyle as Leandro and Bumpkin 1, and Caroline Hunter as Fata Morgana. Hofmeyr's unshakable British accent and appropriate mannerisms made her consistency a pleasure to watch. Boyle's overly pompous attitude and over-the-top nature created a character full of life and hilarity. As the antagonist of the play, Hunter's maniacal laugh and peremptory manner were magnificently malevolent.
During each blackout, the creative sound team accompanied each lack of light with a surplus of sound by playing corresponding television theme songs to coincide with each scene. This originality, along with constant attention to and accuracy with sound cues, made the tech crew stand out, despite their fate to remain unseen. Additionally, the copious amounts of props used were handled with dexterity, adding to each vignette and giving the show an extra edge.
The Episcopal Academy Domino Club proved that audiences shouldn't approach lesser known shows with doubt or trepidation. Their performance of The Love of Three Oranges was truly a citrusy success!