Miss Julie Review: Unlikely Love Personified

Perplexing lust tied in with the fight for power are brought to the attention of viewers at The Seeing Place Theater in “Miss Julie,” a play written over a century ago by August Strindberg.

Directed by Erin Cronican, “Miss Julie” tells the classic tale of two unlikely people fancying each other. Jean (Robert King) is a valet on a prestigious estate owned by the Count while his fiancée, Christine (Marnie Klar) is the cook. At the play’s start, Jean and Christine discuss the antics of the Count’s daughter, Miss Julie (Gabrielle Loneck). Too embarrassed by her failed engagement to celebrate, Miss Julie decides to hang around the estate on Midsummer’s Eve. Eventually Jean reveals he has admired the alluring temptress, Miss Julie, for quite some time.

They attempt to find route through the debasing class system as they question the true worth of love.

The Seeing Place Theater is known for its warm ambiance with dim, minimal lighting and feel-good music that transition scenes. The audience’s chairs are only a few feet away from the stage action which facilitates the theater’s intimacy. “Miss Julie” is a short play with a runtime of only about 90 minutes but it packs a big punch. The dialogue is complex, eloquent and at times, could be a challenge to dissect. Stylistically and technically, the play is up to par with previous Seeing Place productions.

Loneck is cute and bubbly and depicts her character’s playfulness and juvenile behavior very well. King is likeable as Jean but seems restrained throughout the play and at times, can be hard to hear if you are seated in the back of the theater. It would have been nice to see him liven up and project more since his subdued performance leaves the audience to wonder what this young actor could be capable of. Although she has a minor role in the play, Klar captivates viewers with every scene she partakes in.

Miss Julie and Jean have the most character evolution and development and ultimately, the show remains poignant to the very end.

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