In its quaint Loeb Drama Center, The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge is housing playwright David Adjmi’s world premiere of Marie Antoinette. Though the play’s name gives a strictly historical vibe of the French Revolution, the performance will send you on an emotional roller coaster of laughter and tears.
Self-described as “part ‘Sex in the City,’ part ‘Moulin Rouge,’ part modern, part historical, part drama and part comedy,”Marie Antoinette makes for the perfect tragicomedy. The costumes and set match up to what 18th century royalty must have looked like, and as the queen, Marie is quite privileged and well aware of her position as the one percent in society
The witty dialogue and unexpected conversations combined with history bring laughter to the audience. Marie and her husband banter back and forth, especially about his erectile dysfunction, which prevents Marie from bearing a child until Louis XVI gets surgery. With this type of comic relief prevalent, Adjmi did need to include deep interpretation and long explanations about Marie Antoinette’s life that would only bore the audience much like a history book.
In hopes of starting a counter-revolution, Marie and Louis attempt to flee Paris during the Flight to Varennes. They are hopeful that they can escape the drama that was wreaking havoc on their lives in Paris. Brooke Bloom, the actress who played Marie, does a phenomenal job throughout this play in seamlessly depicting the emotional battle that Marie is going through in her own head. Steven Rattazzi, the actor who played Louis XVI, is equally as brilliant as Brooke in depicting this emotional battle that eventually tears them apart.
From joy to sadness, the story of Marie Antoinette is one sure to spark pure fascination and intrigue in the heart of any history buff or average playgoer.
“Marie Antoinette” continues its showing now through Saturday at Loeb Drama Center.