“Lives” proves to be witty, ridiculous comedy

By Katelyn Canon

February 25, 2013

Love can make people crazy, and also deliver a firm, back-handed slap every now and then. [caption id="attachment_16397" align="alignleft" width="150"]Sebastian Smith and Lauryn Roberts rehearse for the play “Private Lives”. The play will be Friday night, March 1st at 7:30. Sebastian Smith and Lauryn Roberts rehearse for the play “Private Lives”. The play will be Friday night, March 1st at 7:30.[/caption] In the 1930s throwback, the cast of “Private Lives” demonstrated the confusing complexity of relationships and their psychotic side effects. The play opened with two couples, Elyott and Sybil, and Victor and Amanda, honeymooning in Deuville, France. Unlike the typical honeymoon however, Elyott and Amanda, who were previously married, wind up in adjacent suites with their new partners. For the remainder of the play, wonderfully hilarious, and at times heart breaking, awkward situations unfold. The most impressive aspect of "Private Lives" was both cast and crew were showcased. Typically, the crew goes unnoticed behind the scenes. Between the first and second acts, the crew came on stage and did a scene change. The play is a must see, and it would be worth paying for another ticket to see the crew dress the set. It was a stylistic choice that made "Lives" a unique experience. Although the beginning of the first act lacked energy, the pace quickened as both women’s screams echoed the theatre. After that, “Private Lives” found its stride and became truly engrossing. The cast, although comprised of only five members, did not lack talent. The two stand-out performances of the evening belong to Matt Wright, as Elyott, and Sebastian Smith, as Victor. Not only did both Wright and Smith maintain convincing English accents, but they also delivered their lines candidly and their comedic chemistry was on point. Wright and Smith demonstrated that they were seasoned actors that have found their bearings. While the men of “Lives” were the highlight of the play, the women cannot go unmentioned. Nerissa Lee, as Sybil, and Lauryn Roberts, as Amanda, held their own with the more experienced Wright and Smith. Both Lee and Roberts have had prior stage experience, but "Lives" is the first major role in a play for both. The fifth member of the cast, Sharon Rodriguez Benarroch who played the maid in the second and third acts, was delightful to watch. Rodriguez Benarroch spoke only French throughout the scenes, but her energy was most memorable. Exasperated, with the two couples and their absurdities, the Rodriquez Benarroch's character served as an important foil character to the rest of the cast. "Private Lives" finishes its run on March 1 and 3. It would be a shame to miss this witty, ridiculously funny play.