Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
In 1936, producer David O. Selznick began a 2-year search to find an unknown to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind. For #HFF19 John Wuchte and Kick Boom Theater Company re-invents this legendary story in Scarlett Fever, a highly-stylized, physical performance which includes live percussion, dance and bare minimum anything else, save for a giant Scarlett style dress. But really, it’s so much bigger than that.
Right from the beginning, the production is an attention grabber with a mise en scene of actors gathering in tribal movement, setting the very tone and rhythm of the multitude of emotional vignettes that play out O. Selznick’s back office melodrama and the courtship of star and unknown actresses auditioning and negotiating the role of a lifetime.
Eerily broad Scarlett Fever is even so, incredibly evocative and immanent in its presentation style especially in actress confessionals and camera seductions.
In addition to all the theatrical interplay, actress Olivia Cordell, is a standout who nails the light comedy and female frustration of the piece in her role as real-life, talent agent and rep for Selznick International, Kay (Brown) who convinced O. Selznick to snap up the film rights to Gone with the Wind after reading Margaret Mitchell’s not-yet-published manuscript, as well as respectively Cassi Schiano, Talia Goodman and Sara Carpenter as Scarletts 1,2 and 3.
Definitely one of the more fascinating and resonant productions at Fringe.
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