TheGreat Gatsby is the return of Scott Fitzgerald’s novel adaptationinto the theaters that is showcased in the London streets for thetheatergoers to enjoy. The play is considered one of the best 20thcentury American Literature that to be adopted in the theaters. The1925 cast that showcases in Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is a comebackin the theater halls for the theatergoers to miss the performance. Ifanything, the musical would not play the role to the theatergoerswithout improving the story as narrated in the novel.
Theplaywright Simon Levy brings Fitzgerald’s novel out to thetheatergoers in a different perspective that does not show the lavishlife of the character, Gatsby. Despite the popularity of his lavishlifestyle of parties, he is brought out as a different character inthe performance cast that has ten people in the crew. He is a retiredarmy officer who has come back to the civilian life as a youngestablished millionaire.
TheAmerican dream story told through the cast is brought out by the maincharacter Gatsby who from the stage views his extravagant home fromhis Long Island to symbolize his love for the world. The youngmillionaire with mystical ways of doing business holds extravagantparties and does not take part in them bringing up questions in thesociety concerning his wealth. The stage is set in a way to depictthe love for the world he lives in by the lighting provided.
NickCarraway is a next door neighbor to the millionaire Jay Gatsby, whonarrates the story to the audience. His life revolves around a littlecottage in an island and promises himself to make it in life just ashis millionaire neighbor. In his small company of friends is hiscousin, Daisy, who happens to be one of Nick’s classmate wife.Daisy is a spoilt rich girl on the other hand and married to Tom, whois said to be the talkative and in an affair with the mechanic’swife. During one of the parties held at Gatsby’s, Jordan, a friendto Daisy reveals that Gatsby and Daisy were romantically involvedbefore the war. The revelation earns them an invite to yet anotherparty for the old friends to reconnect. The roles are challenging,but the choices made by the Director Bruce Tinker are perfect.
Thecostume design work was done by Robert Fowle especially with thetwinkling sequins that are perfectly coordinated with the shoes andhats. The dappled lighting effects on Catherine Marlett arespectacular in the garden as well. Additionally are the ladiesstockings that are perfectly matched to the stage piece. The flapperdresses and the suits are a good representation of the costume designrepresented in this production.
Thescript book and the play depict almost the same view despite someparts such as the yellow car in the book and the ivory colored one inthe play. The swimming pool is convincingly staged despite somechallenges experienced by the crew in setting up the stage. Thedesigner David Len leaves nothing to chance in making the play amongthe best cast for the audience, however, an improvement on the bodylying on the stage turns out to be awkward.
Inconclusion, art is depicted by the production design as the vivacityparty mood compellingly shifts to a drama interwoven in dances anddeath shock. The less than two hours play is used to show the livesaround a society with different characters and uneasy to forget.