There’s a place that makes for a great date night in Tucson right now, as the Arizona Theater Company presents “The Great Gatsby” through March 17.
A story tangled with romance and betrayal, director Stephen Wrentmore has created a fine production that had the audience yelling “well done,” during opening night last week.
“The Great Gatsby,” considered by many to be a great American novel, was written by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1922, where the world has just seen the most destructive war in history, and the roaring twenties are just beginning. Prohibition is in effect and flappers have burst onto the scene.
One of those flappers is Jordan Baker, played by Sofia Jean Gomez. Jordan, a professional golfer, with her short dresses, short hair and rouge, catches the eye of Nick Carraway, (Zachary Ford.)
Nick also serves as narrator, bridging scenes as the play moves forward.
Nick is looking to make his fortune in New York, just coming back from the war, and being a bit naive, gets caught up in the glitz and glamour of Jordan, his cousin Daisy (Monette Magrath) and his mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby (David Andrew Macdonald.)
After being invited to one of Gatsby’s parties, Nick soon finds that it wasn’t a coincidence that his presence was requested. Gatsby, a former lover of Daisy’s, wants Nick’s help to get his first, and only love back. He wants Daisy to see what she could have in his mansion, and leave her cheating husband, Tom Buchanan (William Peden).
Casting for the characters of Nick and Gatsby were perfect.
Gatsby has a charisma that sucks the audience in immediately.
His mystery is enticing. Where did Gastby come from? Where did he get all his money? Did he really kill someone? Is he in fact truly in love with Daisy after all this time, or is he in love with capturing that feeling of excitement you experience when you find love for the first time?
Tom shows Nick a good time in the city with his girlfriend Myrtle Wilson (Marta Reiman). Drinking, dancing and partying, Nick is quickly taken by the life, but at the same time continues to see the good in all the people around him, and only wants to do what’s right.
The play works for many reasons. First, the minimalist sets were dynamic and artistic, therefore putting the onus on the characters. And the cast pulled it off. No one in the cast really stood out simply because there were so many fine performances that came together to make for an excellent play.
“The Great Gatsby” ranges between a love story and a tragedy, and is sure to only get better after each performance.
Tickets for the production range between $31 and $50, with discounts for seniors and active military. All performances also provide $10 students pricing.
For more information, call 622-2823.