OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Northlight Theatre's 'Tom Jones' wilts under weight of romantic entanglements

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-02-01T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Northlight Theatre's 'Tom Jones' wilts under weight of romantic entanglementsBy Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

The story of "Tom Jones" is an ideal fit for a stage offering in February.

The ages-old story of the romantic comings and goings of a swashbuckler, whose favorite hobby is courting women here and there, has been a favorite for centuries.

Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2013-2014 Season with a new production of "Tom Jones," adapted by Jon Jory from the novel by Henry Fielding and directed by William Brown.

The production in Skokie continues until Feb. 23.

Likeable Samuel Ashdown is in fine form as the title character. The rest of the characters are portrayed by the revolving cast ensemble consisting of quick changing talents Chris Amos, Nora Fiffer, Molly Glynn, Melanie Keller, John Lister, Cristina Panfilio, Eric Parks and Marcus Truschinski.

There's so much that unfolds during this two and half hour romp of this new adaptation of Fielding's classic novel, I found my head spinning by the end of the first act. It is fast paced and includes some choppy narration throughout.

Brown returns to direct Jon Jory's new adaptation of the beloved novel. Northlight audiences will remember his adaptation of "Sense & Sensibility." The Northlight production is the second-ever for this adaptation, which celebrated its World Premiere in fall 2013.

Jeffrey D. Kmiec has created an amazing multi-level set with detail rich design, while Carolyn Cristofani's costumes, assisted by Rachel Anne Healy, are breath-taking.

Performances are Tuesdays through Sundays at North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd, in Skokie. Tickets are $25 to $75 at (847) 673-6300 or northlight.org.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at philip.potempa@nwi.com or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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