Review: ‘The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley’ at Capital Stage
The Wickhams:Christmas at Pemberley
Capital Stage’s Sacramento premiere of The Wickhams is the latest installment of the Christmas at Pemberley series by playwrights Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Admirers of Jane Austen will find this delightful production charming and, dare I say, an essential accompaniment to Pride and Prejudice.
It's Christmas at Pemberley House and downstairs the servants are busily working to prepare the house and conceal Lydia Wickham's scoundrel of a husband, George Wickham, who arrives unannounced and unwanted. Family secrets are revealed and questionable loyalties are exposed in this witty, romantic and redemptive tale.
Lydia Wickham (Melissa Brausch) is immediately recognizable by her exuberance and silly giggles. And George Wickham (Colin Sphar) seems to naturally encapsulate an air of deceit and egotistical chauvinism.
But the characters who tug the heartstrings most are Mrs. Reynolds (Stephanie McVay), Brian (Noah Thompson) and Cassie (Kate Morton). Morton, in her professional debut, exudes ease and natural stage presence. It's refreshing to have so many intelligent and solid female characters in one show.
With its focus primarily on the servant's of Pemberley, the play could accurately be described as Jane Austen's Downton Abbey. The simple set is beautifully contrasted with intricate 1800s-era costumes with bright colors and patterns.