|Alexandria Henderson and Avery Clark in The Rivals (John Ulman)|
Seattle Shakespeare Company
Through February 2, 2020
The Rivals, by Richard Sheridan, is a 1700’s comedy of manners. It basically pokes fun at the society that Sheridan lived among, though apparently, they didn’t take offence (the British spelling) to it, since it became very popular.
A 17-year-old ingenue, Lydia Languish (Alexandria Henderson), is so in love with romance novels, which she reads voraciously, that instead of looking for a wealthy husband, she thinks it far more romantic to choose a pauper to love. Young Jack Absolute (Avery Clark), who should “come into” a fairly significant fortune, falls for her. Knowing her penchant for paupers, he pretends to be a penniless Ensign “Beverley” and gains her heart.
Her guardian, Mrs. Malaprop (Julie Briskman), is enraged about this and has bottled Lydia up in the house while plotting to match Lydia up with someone with money. Suddenly Jack’s father, Sir Anthony (Bradford Farwell) shows up and the two elders decide their youngers should get married.
But now Jack has a problem because Lydia will find out he’s NOT penniless! Oh NO! Now what does he do? Lydia might fall out of love with him!