Thursday, September 28, 2023

“The Busie Body” Review: A Comedy on Marriage and Disagreement


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Photo courtesy of MTSU Department of Theatre and Dance

Story by Stephanie Hall | Contributing Writer

Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance is finally back live, and they kicked off this season with a hilarious performance of “The Busie Body,” at the Tucker Theatre on campus.

The show ran from Sept. 30 through Oct. 3.

“The Busie Body” is a hilarious commentary on marriage and difference of opinions between parents and children. 

The “Busie Body” of the show is Marplot, portrayed by Cameron Anteski, who is the foolish ward of Sir Francis, portrayed by Andrew Sparks.  The show follows Marplot as he tries to learn what is going on in the lives of the characters Charles, played by Lyndarious Arrington, and Sir George, played by Garrett Holt.  

The show opens in a rather unusual way with the characters on stage talking directly to the audience. In fact, there were many times that the characters broke the fourth wall.  

Sir Francis often turned to the audience to share his witty remarks about the other characters. Marplot would talk to the audience as he tried to figure things out.

The fourth wall breaks throughout the show were quite humorous and really encouraged the audience to feel as if they were also there, fellow aristocrats merely witnessing the drama.  

Isbinda, portrayed by Sarah Cornelison, navigates her desire to marry Charles while her father, Sir Jealousy Traffick, portrayed by Geo Sekeres, heavily objects. Cornelison had an amazing delivery in all of her lines. The scene where she played the piano had me and the rest of the audience laughing to tears.  

Some of the costumes on display. Courtesy of the MTSU Department of Theatre and Dance

Two characters that really stole the show were those played by student actors Sparks and Sekeres. Sparks, who donned a large belly and a quite extravagant suit, was incredible to watch on stage, and Sekeres’ performance reminded me of the musical comedies of Starkid Productions. 

My personal favorite scenes were because of these two. One of them involved a scene where the elder character, Sir Francis, proves he still has pep in his step by shouting “Look!” and jumping into the air. The other scene involved Sir Jealousy dropping his cane and struggling to pick it back up.

Another interesting aspect of the show was the transitions between scenes. They became almost a different story all on its own. The transitions aren’t in the original script by Susanna Centlivre, but were the idea of the show’s director, Danielle Roos.  

What I believe made these transitions extra amazing was the acting of Kassandra Hazard, Llewyn Beaver and Reghan Hall. The three of them provided a lot of comedy throughout the show. During these transitions, they were able to portray so much emotion and humor without saying a word.  Beaver was especially hilarious was one of my personal favorites to watch.  

All in all, I think “The Busie Body”was an excellent choice for the theatre and dance department as their first live show in two years. I can’t wait to see what else they will bring.

If you would like to see more shows from them, they have three more plays for this school year.  

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