By Debbie Kagy
Impro Theatre brings back Jane Austen UnScripted, a completely improvised comedic play in the style of Jane Austen. The cast consists of a rotating ensemble of Impro Theatre company members and guest stars. On Feb. 16, the stellar cast consisted of Tracy Burns, Lisa Fredrickson, Brian Jones, Lauren Rose Lewis, Brian Lohmann, Dan O’Connor, and Michele Spears. Each show is entirely different and begins with a conversation suggestion from the audience, such as Purple Ribbon. From there the cast creates characters and relationships that have all the elements of the well-known Austen’s books while effortlessly tying in comedic moments of genius.
The cast has an expert knowledge of the language full of euphemisms and metaphors. The characters, as in the books, are restrained by their times and the propriety that was expected of them. Yet, the performance is full of delightful moments of romance, dancing, and entertaining tears. Each character fits a stereotype from the novels, whether it be the grumpy old aunt, the young woman bursting to be different, the young man stuck between society’s expectations and his want of true love, or the cousin always spilling everyone’s secrets.
Artistic Director and Co-Director Dan O’Connor does a fantastic job of creating a simplistic world the audience can feel connected to through his use of costumes, cast-created sound effects, and minimal drapery.
From simultaneous spontaneous poem creation to silly secret love letters, this production will have you laughing for hours and will make you want to return each and every time.
Jane Austen UnScripted runs Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through April 14. The Carrie Theatre is located upstairs at the Pasadena Playhouse located at 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena. Tickets are $25 with student and senior discounts available. They may be purchased at PasadenaPlayhouse.org or by calling (626) 356-7529.