‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ raises the Barn

Bethany Deal

Last Friday I had the privilege of attending the opening night performance of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” at the Barn Playhouse in Jeffersonville. The cast (which includes Villanova alumni Paul Recupero and Matt Bookler) seemed a little shaky in the first few minutes, but soon the opening night jitters wore off and the characters came alive on stage. The leads were amazing, with Chuck Wilson, the Scarlet Pimpernel himself, doing an incredible job.

“The best part of the entire show was the talent of everyone in the cast,” Recupero remarked. “Everyone was so willing to dedicate themselves. A lot of them have full time jobs and still gave their all at rehearsals, which sometimes ran up to 11 hours a day towards the end.” This dedication was obvious not only in the actors on stage, but in the sets and orchestra as well, and comments could be heard throughout the show about the gorgeous costumes. The attention to detail alone in every aspect of the play made me overlook that I was at a community theater, forgetting even the phenomenal talent on-stage before me.

“The Scarlet Pimpernel,” a play set in Europe in 1794, joins a love story with the turmoil of French Revolution. With the incredible voices of leads Christine Hunt-Hjorth, Andy Yoos and Chuck Wilson, and wonderful songs like “The Creation of Man,” “Believe” and “You are My Home” (sung by Hunt-Hjorth and Recupero), those in the audience left the theater humming the music even if they had never heard it before.

If you want to see “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” directed by Eileen Ciccarone, the show runs at the Barn Playhouse Sept. 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $12. The Barn is about 15 minutes from Villanova and a great way to spend a Friday or Saturday night away from campus.

I recommend making every effort to see this play, but would call ahead to get tickets to go, since opening night sold out days before the play actually opened. “The Scarlet Pimpernel” is a great show even without the draw of Villanova alumni!