Bedlam presents a playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, following the fortunes and misfortunes of the Dashwood sisters. More…
When their wealthy half-brother cheats them of their fortune, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are left penniless. They are forced to leave the comforts of Norland Park and relocate to chilly Barton Cottage in Devonshire. But when John Willoughby, a handsome stranger, arrives one day with a rain-drenched Marianne in his arms, the sisters are convinced that their fortunes are changed forever. After a successful January-April 2016 NYC debut, the show is closing briefly and then reopening for an encore run in June 2016.
“This production is charming and wildly inventive...The cast of 10 plays at least twice as many characters, creating entirely new personalities with the change of posture or the addition of eyeglasses or a hat...My only quibble is the few (and they are few) jokes made by inserting modern interventions into Austen-land...But that’s a nitpick. This charming Austenian invention entertains without losing the pain that always lurks below the surface of the lives of Austen’s women." Full Review
"This Jane Austen adaptation—at least in its first half—is both a gloriously smile-inducing celebration of theatrical ingenuity and a clear, brisk telling of the story...'Sense' employs a parade of devices without ever letting the results feel like a parody a la 'The 39 Steps.' After intermission, the plotting gets a little muddy and the gimmicks are piled on a bit thick, but that doesn’t mitigate the magic from a company whose work I’ll now keep a firmer eye on." Full Review
for a previous production "Bedlam’s 'Sense and Sensibility' is transformative theatre, groundbreaking theatre, immersive theatre, theatre not to be missed...This classic is now not only accessible to the present but relevant to this twenty-first century’s attempts to understand not only the vicissitudes of love but also its penchant for accumulating wealth and power." Full Review
for a previous production “Using a cast of ten versatile actors (playing 17 roles) under the brilliant and ingenious direction of artistic director Eric Tucker, the minimalist production contains all of the key scenes of the book while at the same time skillfully delineating the social fabric of the times. You may never have guessed how funny this story really is. Kate Hamill’s marvelous play is one of the finest stage adaptations of a literary classic. Our Jane would have expressed her approval.” Full Review
for a previous production "For sheer, exuberant theatricality, head down to the Bedlam production…'Sense & Sensibility' is blissfully delightful…Having the director off-stage, directing--as opposed to on-stage, directing-while-acting--seems to have enhanced the pacing and heightened the dizziness, which adds just that much more to the evening…'Sense & Sensibility' is wildly enjoyable, wildly inventive and wildly funny." Full Review
for a previous production "Bedlam’s production now stands unrivaled for its freshness and immediacy...'Sense and Sensibility,' newly and skillfully dramatized by Bedlam’s Kate Hamill, merits far more attention than I can give it here...A version so full of galloping comic vitality as to suggest a bunch of stupendously clever kids playing dress-up in the nursery. It’s by far the smartest Jane Austen adaptation to come along since Amy Heckerling’s 'Clueless,' and at least as much fun." Full Review
for a previous production "Bedlam theater company has remained true to Austen's spirit in Kate Hamill's marvelous adaptation of 'Sense and Sensibility…' This hysterical, endlessly inventive production captures Austen's penchant for satire while inducing laughs with an ever-changing set and 10 brilliant actors who never seem to stop moving. It's one of the funniest, most engaging productions now running off-Broadway…It's hard not to lose one's senses in this kind of theatrical stage magic." Full Review
for a previous production "I don't usually count myself among the Austen lovers but the Bedlam theater company's delightfully inventive production may make a convert out of me...The entire 10-member cast is terrific and yet first among equals in this production, adapted by Kate Hamill and directed by artistic director Eric Tucker, were Andrus Nichols as the most responsible of the husband-seeking Dashwood sisters and Jason O'Connell as the object of her desire. I want to see them in whatever they want to do." Full Review
for a previous production "Bedlam’s terrific staging of 'Sense & Sensibility' is everything great about reading an Austen novel: wry, sharp-witted, engaging, intimate, and often hysterical. It’s also imaginative in such a way that seems to recreate how readers might actually picture the story in their heads...The company’s stagecraft is whimsy, dynamic, and refreshingly lo-fi. The physical production also manages to capture swells of intense feeling — like heartbreak and betrayal — by doing a lot with very little." Full Review
for a previous production "It may have taken 'Downton Abbey' to make aristocratic costume drama accessible and mainstream, but it took the Bedlam Theatre Company to turn it into a rip-roaring joyride with their astounding production of 'Sense and Sensibility'...This version is lovingly and skillfully adapted...The only way to truly appreciate the play in its entirety is to see it again. I already have my ticket." Full Review
for a previous production "The Bedlam Theatre Company's radical, experimental, hilarious, lovable and altogether excellent adaptation for the stage. It's Downton Abbey on roller skates, a rock-n-roll minuet, complete with curls and caps and corsets. Bedlam Theatre, an off-Broadway powerhouse, is a collective of actors of such finesse, such flexibility, such charm, such precision, as to just about redefine ensemble...'Sense and Sensibility' provides a splendid evening in the theater." Full Review
for a previous production "At its heart is the brilliant distillation of Jane Austen’s novel by Kate Hamill, as well as the dynamic inventiveness of its director, Eric Tucker, and the ten-actor cast...What is remarkable in this swirling production is that the adaptation is loyal to Austen’s dialogue, sculpting it out of the narrative while at the same time leaving space for the subtext to flourish through action…This is the theatrical genius of the Bedlam production: actors are characters, delightful caricatures, set ... Full Review
for a previous production "This high octane take-no-prisoners production is a fun, inviting show that is artfully done, and well, sensible…This production has done a brilliant job of turning an otherwise quiet love story into an amped up music video with relatable twists and turns...It has passion, intrigue, and bravado enough for ten Austen plays. Eric Tucker has done a brilliant job of staging this piece in the round...Kate Hamill’s interpretation and doubling of the roles works to perfection." Full Review
for a previous production "It's impossible to distinguish between this inventive production and the story itself. So seamlessly intertwined are the two that in spite of his minimal, cost-conscience staging, Tucker literally spins his characters across the stage that enables the show to take flight....makes us feel as if this delightfully absurd presentation was the only possible way in which this tale could ever be served up." Full Review
for a previous production "There’s joy unbounded for fans of Jane Austen…Her novels don’t easily transpose to the stage or to film, but writer Kate Hamill has succeeded gloriously with a sprightly adaptation…And action there is but the story isn’t half of this glorious, uproarious production by Bedlam. From the very beginning you know you’re in good, inventive, skilled hands…The story is told with graceful movement and emotional clarity. The acting is generally first-rate." Full Review
for a previous production "Kate Hamill’s ingenious adaptation offers sheer delight with its creative stagecraft, lively exuberance, clever storytelling and fine acting. The talented cast of ten, some doubling and even tripling roles, vividly bring Austen’s characters to life. Andrus Nichols has the right gravitas for Elinor Dashwood and Hamill is appropriately overwrought as her sister Marianne...Director Eric Tucker deftly keeps everything under control. It all makes for a very enjoyable experience. " Full Review
for a previous production "The theatre’s limitations might be thought a serious drawback when grappling with such works, but, under Eric Tucker’s inspired direction, Bedlam’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ manages to encapsulate the heart of Austen’s story, and enrapture its audience with equal shares of laughter and tears...Their vision enhances rather than gets in the way of a wonderful story and characters, demonstrating how effectively material conceived for another medium can be brilliantly transposed to the theatre." Full Review
for a previous production "This enchanting romp of a play has returned with its buoyant spirits, cunning stagecraft and enlivening insights intact…Your response to the early scenes will probably be surprised, riotous laughter, you are equally likely to find yourself shedding discreet tears by the end. This misty-eyed state is induced not just by Austen’s artistry in setting to rights a world at odds with itself, but also by a troupe’s triumphant joy in giving such defiantly theatrical form to a literary narrative." Full Review
for a previous production "Bedlam’s intimate and inventive stage adaptation...Kate Hamill’s adaptation is faithful to the novel, capturing its dueling romantic and socially critical qualities...As directed by Eric Tucker, it is anchored by emotionally revealing performances...The refreshing production makes a strong case for having classic-oriented theater companies produce more literary adaptations. I look forward to what Bedlam does next." Full Review
for a previous production "An invigorating production that artfully blends words and movement...What's most exciting though, is not that the staging is great, down-to-earth fun. It's that it's all in the service of theater's prime mission: storytelling...In an exemplary adaptation by Kate Hamill Austen's story is related with shining clarity, and with such great humor that, when you find yourself emotionally touched at the end, you're not quite sure how that potent feeling snuck up on you." Full Review
for a previous production "The show is very smartly adapted and directed for a cast of ten versatile actors. Obviously, I already love the story and it is being told her very well. Most of the actors play more than one role and they do so beautifully. Each character is perfectly delineated and shows so many of the foibles that Austen captured so well. Everyone had the opportunity to make me laugh and everyone had the opportunity to make me cry." Full Review
for a previous production "The would-be and might-have-been lovers in this enchantingly athletic take on the perils of Austen-style courtship find themselves pushed and pulled by the forces of speculation run rampant…No troupe in New York these days rides the storytelling momentum of theater more resourcefully or enthusiastically than Bedlam…High-octane Austen…Delightful…Theirs is a bouncy, jaunty take on Austen, with a 10-member cast taking on an assortment of roles that are always clearly defined.” Full Review
for a previous production "You won't find another show in Manhattan at any price, that will immerse you this completely in what's happening on stage…An array of stylized, campy theatrical devices are for the most part ingeniously inventive rather than excessively gimmicky...The rolled on sets do tend to get a bit too much of a good thing around the two hour mark...That said this is one of the most amusing, original theatrical entertainments now running anywhere in Manhattan." Full Review
for a previous production "It’s goofy, joyous and deeply moving...Chalk it up to the Bedlam theater troupe’s low-tech and highly engaging and imaginative take on the Jane Austen classic...The show puts a premium on clever and vivid storytelling. But this 'Sense & Sensibility' stays faithful to its source through all the cheekiness. The production is a reminder that a strong point of view and invention trumps a big budget." Full Review
for a previous production "This 'Sense and Sensibility' gets the humor and certainly the gossipy, unforgiving world of high society to a 't.' Its staging is -with that glaring exception- impeccable and truly inventive. It's worthy of a much longer run on a bigger stage and it ranks as one of the best shows of the year. But it does not move you nearly as much as the novel does and a great adaptation should. Still, it's only a few tweaks and perhaps a switch in casting away." Full Review
See it if You should totally see this show if you are someone who enjoys a good period piece that is also well staged. It is thoughtful and poignant.
Don't see it if Don't see this show if you are not into Jane Austen, history or simply have no taste for period literature.
See it if You like immersive, smart, gripping story-telling. Oh, and there are some great comdic moments!
Don't see it if You hate theatre. This show is everything that is good about live theatre.
See it if This is the best show on stage in NY right now & the best play I've seen since Curious Incident. Every beat is perfectly staged & performed
Don't see it if There is no reason not to see this. You will regret missing it!
See it if you like pure magic! Inventive, refreshing, lovely theater. The acting will make you laugh & cry. So many memorable moments & characters.
Don't see it if you're an Austen purist. This show nails her satire, but it's so playfully rendered as to poke fun at while uplifting itself.
See it if you want to see something truly delightful & engaging that will keep a smile on your face from start to finish with quite a few laughs too.
Don't see it if you can forgive yourself for not finding the time to see this terrific show.
See it if if you want the best time you'll ever have in a theatre. This troupe is genius, and they bring Austen's delicious story to glorious life!
Don't see it if you are in search of a big, splashy spectacle. This is a clever, nuanced, sharp rendition of an intelligent, frothy comedy of manners.
See it if You would like a wild fast paced interpretation of Victorian romantic satire, in an intimate venue. A wonderful experience!
Don't see it if You don't like to interact directly with the actors, or you don't like romance, or you prefer plainer language.
See it if you love theatre that is inventive without losing the point or mood of a piece. This show is one of the best things I've seen this year. GO!
Don't see it if you prefer Jersey Boys and Mama Mia.
See it if you'd like to see a wildly creative take on a literary classic, outrageously funny, yet deeply poignant.
Don't see it if your idea of good theatre is two-dimensional characters taking turns reciting their lines.
See it if you like exciting theatre that relies on wonderful actors, a good script and smart staging... and Jane Austen!
Don't see it if you prefer big Broadway blockbuster musicals. This is fine theatre, with great attention to detail.
See it if You enjoy innovative stagecraft and appreciate the simplicity of Off-Broadway. Want to hang out before the show and sip wine.
Don't see it if You don't like Jane Austen stories and prefer hearing dialogue more than seeing movement.
See it if You want one of the best shows ever. It's unusual and exciting, and every instant presents an unexpected but perfect insight into the story.
Don't see it if You prefer classically staged dramas.
See it if You want an adaptation that simultaneously jabs and honors the Austenian tone, and dashes/sweeps aside the conventional presentation.
Don't see it if You have a peeve about actors playing multiple roles, or you want a simpler, easy narrative to follow. Rapidly moving set pieces unnerve you
See it if you love engaging, innovative storytelling. If you love Jane Austen. If you hate Jane Austen. If you love engaging theatre: see it.
Don't see it if you want the classics exactly as you remember them.
See it if You think Jane Austen might be outdated, overrated, slow, affected and overdone--this will change your mind, indeed it will!
Don't see it if You can't handle a bunch of zany, fertile, insanely talented actors and directors who are can absorb outre' concept and run full speed w it!
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