Memorial Opera House 'Triumphs' in latest comedy

2012-08-02T10:00:00Z 2012-08-02T13:41:17Z Memorial Opera House 'Triumphs' in latest comedyBy Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent
August 02, 2012 10:00 am  • 

For theatergoers, one appeal to enjoying a play is being surprised by the twists and turns a tale may take, and the less known about the specifics of the story is better.

But Jeff DeBoer, director of Valparaiso's Memorial Opera House's "Triumph of Love," says what attendees know about the plot on the onset is a pleasant bonus in this show.

"The audience is let in on the story at the beginning of the show," he said. "The audience is in on the joke and they see what's happening, whereas the characters onstage are learning it. They're on the inside track. They've got the inside scoop and they can go along for the ride."

Opening Aug. 3 and running through Aug. 12, "Triumph" tells the tale of 18th Century Greek Princess Leonide, who yearns for and goes to extreme lengths to win the heart of Agis. Agis' family, however, has stripped Leonide of her regal title, and plans for the princess are murderous rather than romantic.

Based on "Le Triomphe de l'Amour," a play penned in 1732 by French writer Pierre de Marivaux, "Triumph" was adapted for Broadway in 1997. Featuring songs such as "This Day of Days," "Mr. Right" and "Love Won't Take No For An Answer," "Triumph" received Tony and Drama Desk Award Nominations.

"There's a lot of comedy," DeBoer said. "There's mistaken identity, and there's always a lot of good humor that comes out of that. There's a lot of humor, and there's a love story, and a lot of god jokes come out of that. It's a lot of fun,"

Kyrie Anderson, of Hobart, plays Leonide in Memorial Opera House's "Triumph," and Valparaiso's Michael Ohm plays Agis. They are joined onstage by a trio of Valparaiso thesps — Carly Blaine as Leonide's partner in crime, Corine; Scot MacDonald as Agis' uncle, Hermocrates;  and JoBeth Cruz as Agis' aunt, Hesione.

"The cast is absolutely fantastic," DeBoer said. "It's really going to be a good one. We're in really good shape. Some of these people I've worked with many, many times before, and they're all really, really talented."

Next up for Memorial Opera House is a production of the musical "Shout!," scheduled to open Sept. 28.

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