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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Theater

Paradise Hotel turns up the heat


Paradise hotel premiered on Friday and was directed by Gus Kaikkonen.

Paradise Hotel premiered on Friday and was directed by Gus Kaikkonen. | Courtesy of School of Theater and Dance

Infidelity and sexual desire have been common themes in all forms of entertainment, and Paradise Hotel, a comedic drama being performed by students of the school of theater and dance, is no exception.

The play follows Benoit Pinglet, played by second year acting student Matt Severyn, as he pursues a clandestine relationship with his best friend’s wife, Marcelle Paillardin, played by senior Sarah Cortez.

On Friday night, the play premiered at the Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, and it will run until March 3.

From the moment Severyn stepped onto the stage, the audience was immediately captivated by his charm and humor. A contagious cacophony of laughter filled the air.

The light pink walls, the metal balcony and the lounging chair placed in Pinglet’s study successfully brought the audience into the world of 17th century Paris.

Sophomore Shelby Blocker, who played Pinglet’s wife, Angelique, convincingly portrayed a woman with a voracious personality and a big heart.

All cast members had great chemistry on stage — this was most necessary during scenes where Pinglet confessed his lust for Marcelle. There was no awkwardness present as he blatantly told her how much he wanted her and swiveled his hips against her legs.

Junior Miguel Angel Garcia played Marcelle’s husband, Henri Paillardin. He brought to life a man who is much too worried about his work as an architect to spend intimate time with his wife. His gestures and manner of speaking effectively conveyed to the audience how lacking his desire for a physical relationship was.

Another standout was senior Jason Ronje, who played Matthieu, a widowed lawyer with three daughters who stutter when it rains. When he was on stage, audience members laughed twice as much as they did before.

Junior Michaela Heidemann, who played the Pinglets’ maid, brought a tantalizing amount of sultriness to the stage as she seduced Maxime, the Paillardin’s nephew. Maxime was played by freshman Zachary Leonard, who persuaded viewers of his nerdy innocence.

Paradise Hotel is a play that will most likely induce serious fits of laughter, while also making viewers slightly uncomfortable at the same time. The message transmitted is of the common human feeling of desire, and what lengths people will go to to get that desire fulfilled.

All the actors displayed an enormous amount of commitment and love for their craft.

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