Wooing and wedding
Sense and Sensibility
Adapting a thick novel makes for a busy play, and that’s the case with the Sacramento Theatre Company’s Sense and Sensibility (based on the Jane Austen classic). The show has more scene changes than anything we’ve seen locally since 2014’s Anna Karenina (Capital Stage)—and actress Lenne Klingaman played the lead in both. But where Anna was a free spirit whose romances ran against social mores, Elinor Dashwood (Klingaman’s character here) is a prim-and-proper soul determined to marry for love (but nonetheless aware of her suitors’ finances). Honorable Elinor pursues wooing and wedding by the rules, and also protects her more impulsive sister Marianne (dreamy Lindsey Marie Schmeltzer), whose Romantic Era ideals sometimes get the better of her.
Then there’s sister-in-law Fanny Dashwood (Tara Henry) who married for money. And there are the suitors: Col. Brandon (well played by David Campfield); the dashing Willoughby (Kevin Gish, striding onstage in a shooting jacket carrying a hunting rifle); and the shy, private Edward Ferrars (Teddy Spencer, who also plays Edward’s extroverted, egotistical brother Robert).
Director Shannon Mahoney adeptly choreographs (and better yet, makes emotional sense out of) the intricate comings and goings, confidential secrets and pledges of love, as the Dashwood sisters’ marriage prospects ebb and flow. Mahoney also brings moments of humor and spontaneity to the task (and genuine concern when young Marianne is stricken by a nearly fatal fever). Credit also to costumer Jessica Minnihan, scenic designer Renee Degarmo, and sound designer Beth Edwards, who carry us in to the 1790s with sights and sounds. It’s an enjoyable ride.