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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › 'Magic and Misanthropy' is a 'Wilde' Ride!

'Magic and Misanthropy' is a 'Wilde' Ride!

user 12605913
Seattle, WA
Post #: 15
by Juniper Persnicket

The works of Oscar Wilde are woven into the worn blanket of theatre standards. Anyone calling herself a student of the arts must have at least a passing familiarity with his works, but how many ersatz Ernests can one critic handle? Thankfully we've been spared the tedium this season thanks to the bold decision to stage one of his lesser-known works, 'Magic and Misanthropy'.

The show opens in a London flat, where the aging Lavinia (played to the hilt by the the incomparable Jerome) is throwing a party for London's most marvelous magicians, despite the Among the guests is the subject of her patronage is a charlatan magician, Alfonse (the dynamic Ed in a star-making turn) and his brother-in-law, maintenance man Crash (Natalie, demonstrating what can only graciously be called 'competence').

When Alfonse's attempts to call upon the spirit of on of Lavinia's many husbands instead rouses the ghost of a sarcastic knight who sends the pair into a crypt, it's such an obvious commentary on the decaying upper class and the death of romanticized British myth it feels as though Wilde might as well have handed the audience a map. However, the famous battle scene against the revenants caps off the act in a grand fashion! Don't scurry off to get in queue for the restroom or you'll miss this highlight.

The introduction of a fairy princess who calls upon Crash to save their kingdom based on the mistaken belief that he's a great hero leads to an escalation of lies as Crash convinces Alfonse to accompany him into the fairy realm, leading to a confrontation with the murderous-but-misunderstood bandersnatch and the end of Lavinia's dwindling funds as she invests it all in coal.

Of course, all is well for our heroes in the end, with Lavinia finding wealth in Faery, where coal is the most valuable substance, Alfonse becoming King of the Fairies and Crash bringing about an era of peace by introducing the bandersnatch to an undead duo who are down to play evil Mario Kart for all eternity.

It's a breath of fresh air to see a company take on this rare Wilde and a not-to-be missed piece, especially for the portrayal of Lavinia, the clear audience favorite. This critic hopes others will follow their example and dig into Oscar's b-sides.

What others are saying about 'Magic and Misanthropy'
"If I hear the word 'bumbershoot' one more time I swear to god I'm going to snap."

"I can't remember the last time I had such a good time while getting dusted with white powder, and I'm addicted to cocaine!"

"Where can I get one of those pulsating wrenches?"

"I nearly died from laughter! You'll be hearing from my attorney."
Ed T.
Seattle, WA
Post #: 17
Meanwhile, the headline in Variety: Oscar's Fae play? We say: A-Okay!

(Which is especially impressive because I'm reasonably sure Variety doesn't actually cover theater.)
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