THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is many things. It is a red flower. It is a family crest. It is a masked vigilante that inspired the modern masked super hero. It is also Town and Country Players current production. Hilarious and fun, it is well worth your time and money to catch it while you can.
The Set design (David Sharper) of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is efficient without being plain. The stage is quickly transformed from one scene to another with fabulous lighting (John Demeter). It is too often an afterthought but the lighting really helped make this great show even better. It was very well balanced with the two male leads and leading lady in mind, as the light was always most favorable to them, as is to be expected. It also helped set the mood in many scenes. A slight or deep shift in color can make or break a scene, and this time it helped make all of them. All of this was set to fantastic music (Stephanie Overton-Hall) played by a talented accompanist (Joe Nappi).
The choreography (Kate Skelly) of the show was also quite beautiful to watch. As a fan of ballroom dancing, it was great to see the ballroom dance actually look like a ballroom dance scene. The fight choreography was superb. Fights were both fun to watch, as well as varied, from mass scenes, to a two on one sword-fight or a butterfly net being used to entangle an opponent. Costumes (Nancy Ridgeway) were all fantastic, even if a few were…well let’s say that she really put the pimp in some of the pimpernel’s retinue, and one of the men had an unfortunate ponytail that looked more like a samurai top-knot. The director (Mariel Rosati) did a great job pulling together such a talented crew and cast and creating such a beautiful vision.
Kevin Palardy (Percy/Scarlet Pimpernel) was a home-star runner of a success as The Scarlet Pimpernel. He has the hard job of being the titular character as well as playing a variety of sub-roles as that character, and he nails all of it. Palardy is gifted at being able to tell just as much of the story with his body movements as with his talented acting. His accents were great, his singing superb and he delivered an all around amazing performance. The star of the show and rightfully so, Palardy really leaves the audience wanting more.
Roseann Enwright (Margueritte) was fabulous, sticking with her French accent through all of her spoken lines and even in some of her songs. She has a strong voice but the accent made her sound flat at times, which wouldn’t have even been noticeable if not for the fact that she was paired with two such strong male singers. Enwright shines as a dancer, and in her fight scenes. She comes across as an enviable woman and it easily explains why so many men love her like they do.
Michael Schiumo (Chauvelin) was enthralling and terrifying. His deep vocal range was amazing to watch and beautiful to listen to. However a minor criticism is that all other French characters spoke with an accented voice except for him. Schiumo did, however, make up for this quibble by never breaking character which can be hard in such a funny show. He seemed almost a foot taller then he really is and really intimidates you in a good way.
The rest of the cast was all very talented, and anyone not mentioned here still did a great job.
The Pimpernels’ entourage and cohorts were all quite good. John Wishnie (Elton) was superb as the butterfly enthusiast, and he had lots of great small character moments that never distracted from the scenes. Jonathan Knapp (Dewhurst) did a fantastic job as a worried and paranoid friend. John Neuman (Armand) was a convincing strong devoted brother. Stuart Wyss-LeClair (Ozzy) Bob Harris (Farleigh) Bill Weir (Hal) Robert Risch (Ben) all harmonized beautifully and sang very well. Knapp, Weir and Wishnie however all stuck out above and beyond as strong male singers.
The women of the show of the show were all just as talented as the men; sadly the Scarlet Pimpernel does not have many stellar female parts. However, Jillian Thaker-Ambs (Marie Grosholtz) beautifully leads the women in their songs. I do not envy the quick changes that any of the Cupids (Carly Price, Becca Carlyon Wahoff, Amanda Weikel, Cali Weinstein) or Womens’ Ensemble (Natalie Chernicoff, Victoria Schultheis) must have been doing, however very rarely did you notice anything out of place.
With such a fabulous cast and crew you should go see THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL while you still can at Town and Country Players, or The Belgian may have to track you down and force you.
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Book and Lyrics by: Nan Knighton
Music by : Frank Wildhorn
Directed by: Mariel Rosati
Musical Direction by: Stephanie Overton Hall
Produced by: Victoria Schultheis
Choreographed by: Kathryn Skelly
April 4-19, 2014
Town and Country Players
4158 York Road
Reservations at: 1-800-838-3006 or at