BWW Review: HAY FEVER at Florida Repertory Theatre is Classically Crisp and Comedic!February 18, 2019
Noël Coward’s HAY FEVER at Florida Repertory Theatre tells the story of the eccentric Bliss family and their houseguests on a weekend in June 1927.
Florida Rep manages to do fantastic work with every genre of theatre they produce, but I have to say I think my favorite of those is a classic comedic farce such as HAY FEVER. This show is very lighthearted, witty, and fun, and I promise you’ll find yourself laughing many, many times throughout it as the antics of the Bliss family begin to make their guests very wary.
The Bliss family includes Judith (Kate Levy), David (Matt Sullivan), Sorel (Olivia Stevenson), and Simon (Jake Murphy). This Bohemian, bad-mannered family each incidentally invited their own individual guests for the weekend, resulting in several hilarious encounters and quite a bit of commotion. Levy’s Judith Bliss was beyond hilarious; as her character was an actress, she often added a bit of drama and flair to her monologues and dialogue with other characters, which made for even more extra humorous moments.
The Blisses’ guests for the weekend include Sandy Tyrell (Seth Andrew Bridges), Myra Arundel (Rachel Burttram), Richard Greatham (Brendan Powers), and Jackie Coryton (Sydney Torres). I really enjoyed seeing the different dynamics between the Bliss family members and each guest as ulterior motives were uncovered and mayhem ensued. The cast all worked very cohesively together and had great onstage chemistry, which made the comedic aspects of it feel more natural.
In addition to the superb acting and entertaining storyline, I loved the set of HAY FEVER; I thought it was very appropriate for the setting and the story, and it was quite lovely, so I have to give credit to Set Designer Dennis Maulden. I also felt the costumes were perfectly appropriate for the 1920s, and the ones in the second act were especially detailed and beautiful, thanks to Costume Designer Jacquelyn Loy.
If you’re looking for a fantastically amusing afternoon or evening of professional live theatre, I most definitely encourage you to check out HAY FEVER at Florida Rep. It was thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end, and I promise you will be delighted to see this crisp, classic comedy.
HAY FEVER is playing in Florida Rep’s Historic Arcade Theatre now through March 9. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM, Friday-Saturday at 8 PM, with 2 PM matinees on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. To buy tickets, you can visit www.floridarep.org, call Florida Rep at 239-332-4488, or stop by the box office at 2268 Bay Street, Fort Myers, FL, 33901.