It’s the simplest of stories. Two sisters trying to make their way through life and love with their caring and wise mother after the death of their father and the betrayal of their sister-in-law. Not bad romance novel material, even though it was first published in 1811.
Anchoring the show with the most heartfelt and authentic of performances are Amelia McClain and Nancy Lemenager as Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, the sisters. Penny Slusher plays their mother with spirit and just a touch of the subdued grief she feels bearing the weight of her responsibilities in a way that always gives hope to her daughters.
At first glance, the scenic design of Tom Burch may seem a bit too experimentally modern until the show begins to flow and Jane Austen’s writing gradually fills in the stage with the most delicate, colorful and vivid visions of the heart…..the kind generated by our own minds when we become enamored with a production as uniformly accessible as Director Jon Jory’s at The Rep.
Finding husbands and a financially secure future amidst the gentry of the time, dealing with men who are far less than truthful and facing up to serious health issues are all part of “Sense and Sensibility.” It is a delicate, romantic and cultured production, colorful and sometimes sharply humorous. Most of all, it is a journey of warm hearts to find happiness in a sometimes cold world. And The Rep’s production gives it a full measure of success.