Love, laughs and dance

Published 9:47 am Friday, February 10, 2012

David Albino and Sarah Brinza practice a tango scene during rehearsals for “Ring Round the Moon,” which opens Wednesday. -- Trey Mewes/Albert Lea Tribune

AUSTIN — Riverland Community College will get a little romantic next week.

Riverland’s “Ring Round The Moon” opens Wednesday.

“It’s such a fun play,” said director Lindsey Duoos Williams. “You know it’s always good when the cast is laughing while they’re watching the show.”

Penny Kinney, left, performs as Madame Desmortes while Charlie Martin watches as Capulet during the rehearsal for "Ring Round the Moon." The Riverland Community College production opens next week.

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A fast-paced performance with “zany, physical comedy” according to Williams, “Ring Round the Moon” centers on wealthy twin brothers: Frederic, who is shy and sensitive, and Hugo, who is aggressive and scheming. To prevent Frederic from entering into a loveless marriage, Hugo devises a plan to save him. The result is a mix of comedy and drama, filled with classical comedy elements like mistaken identities, misguided love affairs, and an unexpected happy ending.

“It’s a romantic comedy at its heart,” Williams said.

Williams chose to set the play in the 1920s, even though Anouilh wrote the play in the ’50s. The time period’s aesthetic is a large part of that decision, as things were more lavish in the ’20s and the play is a little more complex than the average comedy.

“The play is a farce, but it’s a French farce,” said Penny Kinney, who plays Madame Desmortes. “It’s a challenge to get the humor across at times.”

Yet the play has some interesting elements, especially concerning Hugo’s plots and various cons.

“Everything just goes terribly, terribly wrong in the most hilarious way,” said Charlie Martin, Austin High School freshman who plays Capulet. “You can’t not laugh at it.”

Even so, the play’s ending makes for a perfect treat on Valentine’s Day week.

“It’s a romantic comedy and it’s very close to Valentine’s Day,” said Samantha Johnson, a Riverland student who plays Diana Messerschmann. “If you want to laugh, it’s a good thing to come see.”


Tickets, please

What: “Ring Round the Moon”

When: opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, runs through Feb. 19

Where: Riverland Community College, Austin campus

How much: $12, Riverland Box Office