On Thursday, Jan. 29, the Prep and Villa Theater Program will present its second show of its 2014-2015 season: The Scarlet Pimpernel. This extraordinary show features a large and talented cast, over-the-top costumes, and unique music. It is a show that is sure to please all audiences.
The story is set in both England and France. As France descends into the guillotine-induced chaos of the Reign of Terror, the Englishman Sir Percy Blakeney (Sam Sweny) decides to take a stand against the tyranny of Robespierre (John Oehling) and Citizen Chauvelin (Bryan Welsh) by sailing over to France with his friends and fighting under the pseudonym “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” As Blakeney and his men gain popularity, Chauvelin strains to find the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, who seems to always be out of his reach. In a brilliant and entertaining sequence of song and dance, this show portrays the pursuit of the elusive Pimpernel and his men, as they fight to save innocent lives from the guillotine.
The Rambler was fortunate enough to catch up with Percy Blakeney’s wife, Marguerite St. Just (Kristy Tishchenko), and ask her about the show. “Playing the role of Marguerite was really a needed wake-up call,” Tishchenko said. “Previous years, playing multiple characters that surprisingly always were married or engaged was just fun and had no real deep meaning to it. And this year, when I received my script for The Scarlet Pimpernel, read through it, and watched both movies, I realized something. The movies portray Marguerite as a pure Disney kind of damsel in distress, but she really is, as Percy states, ‘My wife’s not the fainting sort… She’ll hold up and spit them in the eye til her last… breath.’ She handles on-going stress daily and still manages to pull off a smile. During these past months, my life has almost reflected Marguerite’s, though not as extreme. To juggle school, play, out-of and in-school activities, family, social life, etc., does put a lot of mental stress on a person, and it helped me understand Marguerite more in depth. I am deeply honored to be able to portray her true character.”
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a show worth seeing. It is powerful yet comic, serious yet whimsical. It will make you gasp in awe and burst with laughter, and it is a masterpiece enjoyable for any audience.
Come and see The Scarlet Pimpernel. You won’t regret it!