For those of you who can’t just hop a plane and rush to the beautiful city of Rome and experience the spirit, the music, and the ideal of falling in love in one of the most amazing places in the world, than Guthrie Theaters latest production of “Roman Holiday” is the play for you.
The story is a stage reprisal of the 1950’s feature film that stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. The productions charts the story of Princess Anne (Stephanie Rothenberg) and shows how the curiosity that gently calls from outside her window takes her on a whirlwind journey from being a pampered princess locked in the world of royalty, to an average tourist rushing through the streets of Rome on a motorcycle bumping into beauty, culture and friendships on every avenue. During Princess Anne’s field trip away from responsibility, she is accompanied by Joe Bradley (Edward Watts), a reporter masquerading as a friend. His desire is to get Princess Anne’s story— publicize her escape and illustrate to readers all the true in’s and out’s of the princess without having to censor himself.
Unfortunately, as every waking hour ticks by, his desire to expose the Princess for a paycheck transitions into his wanting to protect her, love her, and spend every moment he has learning more about her. The production features the music of Cole Porter.
The show is definitely one for those who enjoy a bit of nostalgia and a whole lot of romance. One of the shows strengths is its big musical numbers that are inclusive of large amounts of dancing from one of the slickest ensemble casts I’ve ever seen; these dancers really know how to boogie to a big band style medley.
Another one of the shows strengths is the stage sets. You can easily recreate the look of something in a stage production, but Roman Holiday does an incredible job of creating the feeling as well; something authentic that thrusts you right in the middle of the action and takes you from a comfortable theater seat to the frontline of one of the most romantic stories ever told. Roman Holiday’s large sets not only resemble the Princesses castle, or an outdoor café, or even a quaint little Roman apartment trimmed in TLC, but with the use of video and the “Ken Burns Effect” intermixed with photo backdrops, you also feel like you’re on the journey with them.
Roman Holiday is definitely a play after everyone’s heart. See it while you can.
Roman Holiday runs now through August 19th. For more information please visit: http://www.guthrietheater.org/