We are a society that worships celebrities. It is a proven fact . Just look at all the magazines, television shows, and web sites. We spend our time tweeting in the hope that our favorite music or television star will answer us. For the first time in history, celebrities and their fans can actively participate in each others lives. We can’t get enough of them.
The latest play at Steppenwolf “Marie Antoinette” is a satire that will get the town talking. Its almost kismet that this play opens during NY Fashion Week. The costumes become characters in the show themselves. But for an actress to portray the “Butterfly Queen” with her own special opulence and style, then the costumer must have a special kind of creativity. Dede M Ayite uses pastels and curves to convey the character of Marie as the height of style. Her love of fashion and use of Louis Vuittons makes fun of the conception of celebrity and everybody worshipping her. This is the point that David Adjmi makes by taking the historical account of her and her husband, Louis XVI and giving it a modern twist.Adimi also takes the story and gives it a twist that reminded this author of the modern day sagas of Shonda Rhimes. It is interesting to note this since one of the founders of the theatre is currently appearing in one of these shows, Jeff Perry on “Scandal”
Alana Aranas makes the main character likable and fun. This could be a difficult task considering the amount of energy required to pull the character off. She captures the audience with her aura of glamour and can girl work it. Dressers help her make the necessary changes of costume. Her dear husband is played to comic perfection by favorite Tim Hopper. Louis is the weak wimp to the strong Marie. Both actors know how to pull it together as we see how fast things go downhill . Chaos becomes the order of the day when the citizens of France are tired of the opulent ways of their queen. Alan Wilder steals the show as the “Sheep”. He is the voice of reason and also could be interpreted as a foreshadowing of what is to come as well.
“Marie Antoinette” will be at Steppenwolf in the Upstairs Theatre until May 10. One of the other features are the lively post show discussions following each performance. Audience members are encouraged to discuss the play and the discussions are always lively. For ticket information go to steppenwolf.org.
With hair and make up by Dave Bova and the fabulous costumes by Dede Ayite , “Marie Antoninette” is a treat for the eyes as well as the ears. Jeff Sugg marries the era of France with modern times with his projection design.