Tuesday June 27th 2017

“Sense & Sensibility”

Recommended  Jane Austen’s novels are geared for women readers and thus those made into plays will appeal to that gender as well. Jon Jory, who did the adaptation of Austen’s “Sense & Sensibility” now on stage at The Northlight Theatre in Skokie, and who also directs this stirring novel/play, has been doing her works for many years and in doing so has found a sort of kinship with this brilliant writer. In most of her works, the women characters are searching for  money and possibly even love, but security and status were of most importance while at the same time, remaining “ladies”. “Sense” deals with sisters. The Dashwoods, very different in attitude are left with very little when their father passes on and leaves the majority of his estate to their half brother ( from a previous marriage and of course his only son) forcing them to seek proper husbands of both status and wealth. The sisters, Marianne ( a prim and proper Helen Sadler) who is quite passionate and would settle for love over the aforementioned and her older sister, Elinor ( powerfully played by Heidi Kettenring, who we know mostly as a Musical performer, but shows just how talented she is by this change of pace) is more about the proper man with the ability to offer her a comfortable life.

From the time of the will reading, they with their mother ( a solid performance by the always reliable Penny Slusher) are forced to live where they can. They are offered a small cottage and start thier new lives under conditions far different to the lifestyle they enjoyed prior to the death of their father. Along their journey, they meet men they would like to be with and men who want them but due to the times and circumstances it appears that their lives will not be as hoped for. This is a marvelous cast of players: Diane Mair, Franette Liebow, Ginger Lee McDermott,Greg Matthew Anderson, Jordan Brown, V. Craig Heidenreich, Si Osborne,Geoff Rice,Jay Whitaker and Wendy Robie as the adorable Mrs. Jennings.

The set is probably one of the simplest I have ever witnessed at Northlight in that there is a door ( standing freely on its own) some benches and then chairs and tables moved about to change locations. In some cases, the actors go through the doors  to exit and then come right back on to enter a new location. I am sure that Jory’s concept was not to have anything take away from the lyrics of the words that Austen and he have put in the script. The story and characters are strong and it is of great importance for the audience to stay in focus on who is who, who desires who and the words tand actions of the characters over glitz that might distract from these. I would venture to say that the audiences will be composed of mostly women and possibly men who dote on their wives enough to sit through a romantic story like this, but, men, be advised, these two leading ladies will captivate you and it is worth the trip to Skokie to watch them work their magic.

“Sense & Sensibility” will continue at Northlight Theatre  located at 9501 North Skokie Boulevard ( at Golf Rd, just a stone’s throw from Old Orchard hopping Center) through April 27th with performances as follows:

Tuesdays ( except March 29th and April 5th) 7:30 p.m.,Wednesday 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ( except March 30th, no evening),Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.,Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. ( no evening on March 27th and April 17th)

Tickets range from $40-$50 and for young adults ( unde 25) there are $10 for all performances. To purchase tickets you can visit he box office, call 847-673-6300 or viist www.northlight.org

Lots of free parking

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