Thursday, May 11, 2006

From the Seattle Times: (Review of House of Mirth play running through May 13, 2006)

Classic story of woman's quest for social status

Seattle Times theater critic

"Everything about her was both vigorous and exquisite," wrote Edith Wharton of her definitive character Lily Bart.

The same can be said of actress Jennifer Lee Taylor, the captivating Lily in Book-It Repertory Theatre's "The House of Mirth."

With her fair, translucent beauty, aristocratic carriage and sleek charm, Taylor is every inch the Gilded Age enchantress Wharton described in her brilliant novel — and the ethical self-doubter, too.

Playing across Taylor's lovely face (she resembles a young Meryl Streep) are the conflicting desires that make her, ultimately, masochistic and noble. Lily attempts to both cultivate her conscience and seek her fortune in the nouveau riche piranha tank of Old New York. Alas, the two impulses turn out to be tragically incompatible.

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