If you are looking to put some fun into your weekend, head over to the Ruth Page Theater and catch a performance of Bernard Shaw’s: Misalliance. Enjoy the dysfunctional family fun that occurred at John Tarleton’s country house one summer afternoon in 1909, Surrey, England.
Misalliance is a look into the relationships that center around John Tarleton, his family, and guests during a weekend at his country house. Mr. Tarleton is newly-wealthy and made his fortunes selling underwear. His daughter Hypatia is betrothed to Bentley Summerhays, an intellectual but whimpy excuse of a man from an old English aristocratic family.
Hypatia is questioning her engagement to Bentley as the play starts and it’s revealed later that she had a proposal from her soon to be father-in-law, Lord Summerhays. She longs for an adventure to drop into her lap, and it does…so to speak. Shortly before the close of Act I, an airplane crashes through the roof of the greenhouse and introduces the Joey Percival, the pilot, and Lina Szczpanowska, a female dare-devil. Joey Percival is a handsome man who instantly gains the attention of Hypatia, and Lina gains the attention of all the other men at the party.
Act II opens in the Tarleton’s Turkish bath with the introduction of Gunner. This character is an unhappy cashier who blames Mr. Tarleton for his woes. Gunner arrives with the intent to kill Mr. Tarleton and hides in the Turkish bath only to witness Hypatia’s pursuit of Percival.
At the end of it all there are eight marriage proposals to be considered in the course of one summer afternoon. There are many laughable moments throughout the performance as you watch the characters contemplate their unique situations.
Misalliance is thoroughly enjoyable from opening curtain to the final bow. The show is directed by Barbara Zahora, who made her directorial debut with the company last season with Noel Coward’s Private Lives. Over the last few year she has been seen regularly on the ShawChicago stage.
Performances run September 17 - October 10 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610. Tickets may be purchased at www.shawchicago.org or over the phone (312) 587-7390.
Upcoming shows include Jeeves Intervenes (November 26, 2016) and Heartbreak House (March 5, 2017)
Photo Credit: Dylan Stuckey
I was invited to attend this performance as a member of the media.