‘Rehearsal’ plays the cheating game

Posted April 27, 2007
Leah Heagy
Superficial Hortensia, played by junior Gretchen Cooper, powders her face as she whines about the part she has been given in a play; it is a part that represents all too clearly her own life and ego.
“The Rehearsal,” written by Jean Anouilh and directed by guest director Georgij Paro was performed in Dailey Theatre April 19-21. The play explores marriage, commitment and the occassional affair. The production will run through Sunday.

If you like the secret lives of the cheating spouses from “Desperate Housewives,” then you will sure enjoy “The Rehearsal.”

Those who are married know that marriage can be a twisted game, on one end of the court you have the polygamous crowd and on the other, the monogamous.

Both crowds are true to their distinct beliefs, to cheat or stay forever loyal, but when one crosses over to the other end the result is catastrophic.

“The Rehearsal, or Love Punished,” a ULV production, portrays the very theme of monogamy versus polygamy.

The play, which opened on April 19 in Dailey Theatre, is about a married couple who accept each other’s affairs.

The count, Tigre, played by sophomore Kris Bicknell, takes Hortensia, played by junior Gretchen Cooper, as his mistress.

The countess, Tanya Wilkins, accepts his affair with her because aside from being an endearing woman, she has class and is well educated.

While Hortensia entertains Tigre; Hero, played by Sam Guzik, keeps the countess satisfied.

Both the count and countess seem to be enjoying their polygamous game until Tigre places his eyes on a working class, sweet lady named Lucile, while rehearsing for a play.

Although the countess and mistress believe that the count’s affection toward Lucile is pure infatuation, problems arise when the two realize the count is in love with the young girl. In fear of forever losing her husband, the countess plays several dirty little tricks causing Lucille to flee.

“The Rehearsal,” by Jean Anouilh and directed by guest director Gerogij Paro, keeps the crowd entertained from the comical characters to the distinct scenery.

The crowd who attended the opening night seemed to have fallen in love with Zach Johnson’s character, Villebosse.

Villebosse is a little guy with a big heart for the countess who always gets pushed around. His famous reoccurring line, “are we rehearsing or not?!,” never fails to get a few laughs from the crowd.

Although Villebosse may be the funniest character on stage, Johnson believed otherwise.

“I didn’t want to play him, I read the first lines and I didn’t want to do it, he seemed boring,” Johnson said. “But as I started reading the script, I realized he was a really funny guy.”

The play’s second act featured an interesting scenery. The crowd took a short field trip to Lucile’s bedroom in the Cabaret Theatre.

Once the scene ended, the crowd took a behind the scenes trip back to the Dailey Theatre.

Candlelight guided the way to Dailey and allowed the crowd to feel what it was like to be part of the play.

While the crowd was given one easy minute in the limelight, the cast rehearsed for several weeks to be in the spotlight.

In those six to seven weeks, a couple of the actors fell in love with their characters.

“I love Lucile, she is stronger than any other,” said Jessica Swapp of her character.

Like Swap, Wilkins also fell in love with her character. “I love her, she’s manipulating. Well, I don’t like being manipulating but she’s a strong, powerful yet fragile woman,” Wilkins said. “She has different layers, like her dress.”

Swapp and Wilkins were able to transform the respect and love for their characters into an outstanding performance, such so that both were invited to spend next year in the elite Guildford School of Acting in England.

For those who are interested in seeing the different layers of every character, the play will be open until April 29.

Priscilla Segura can be reached at psegura@ulv.edu.

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