His Girl Friday packed with action and wit
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 23:02
The cast and crew of the Connecticut Repertory Theater had their audience laughing out loud throughout the dramatic and action packed performance of “His Girl Friday” on Thursday night.
“I was here mostly for a drama class that I was taking but I’m walking away with a lot more appreciation for theater,” Silverberg Aryee, a 4th-semester biology major, said. “Their performance was simply amazing – on point and effective. Even the stage props and the set up were done so well. I’m very glad I got to see the show.”
Aryee was one of many in the theater that did not hold back on the applause at the end of the show. Though he came because of a class, many of the audience members were older – either family members of the performers or patrons of the small theater.
Set up as the focal point of the circular seating, the stage showed off an elaborate set of a newspaper office in Chicago during the 1930s. “His Girl Friday” is based on a play titled “The Front Page” which was written by journalists Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur in 1928. It was later adapted several times for both stage and screen, sparking the production of a film titled “His Girl Friday” in 1939. Written during an era that marked corruption in Chicago, the play highlights the lies, bribes and secrets that surrounded officials in Chicago like policemen and the mayor. It also includes a strong female journalist at a time when females were underrepresented in most jobs. Set on the stage of the beginnings of World War II, the play is packed with action from start to finish.
The plot centers around Walter Burns, editor of the Chicago Daily Record, who is tracking a story on Earl Holub, a man convicted of shooting a police officer. Burns’ ex wife, Hildy Johnson, comes back to the paper to bid farewell before her departure to New York with her fiancée. But as she tries to leave, chaos ensues with the development of events connected to Holub, including his escape from prison. Throughout the play, the actors and actresses delivered quick dialogue and subtle yet outrageous humor that had the crowd laughing. Using real props and staging action scenes like a shootout, the cast had the audience at the edge of their seats. In the small theater, each member of the audience was able to notice the subtle facial and body expressions that made the play seem more natural and even more clever.
“The actors were very expressive and natural. You can tell that they put a lot of hard work into their roles and that they love what they do,” Kaitlynn Driscoll, a 4th-semester communications major, said. “In a lot of other plays, they over dramatize things but this kept action while delivering fast and witty lines.”