The Red Masquer’s “Be Our Guest” showcases quirky humor and cast talent

Poster for Be Our Guest

I’ll admit, with shame, that before this never really knew much about Duquesne’s Red Masquers. I’d seen info about them on Duquesne’s web site, of course,and taken up close and personal pictures of them as living statues. I’d never attended one of their plays before. However, when I found out that the Peter Mills Theatre was, in fact, on campus!, and buried down on the concourse level of Rockwell hall, there was no stopping me.

The two star crossed main characters sit mournfully.
Like Romeo and Juliet, the lovebirds are troubled by family drama. His folks are, after all, quite mad!

“Be Our Guest” turned out to be quirky and brazen and; the kind of thing you would expect would make nuns hide behind their wimples. (There is a character called Lance O’Steel, and he’s exactly what you think, okay? My point is made!)

The plot concerns new bride Abigail, who finds herself with some of the most interesting in laws of all time after a sudden marriage to Jeremy Guest. His mother is planning the details of her own funeral and can never seemed to remember her name. His father is a new first lady every hour. His uncle is…special…. His twin sister carries around a dead dog. Grandpa is deaf and grandpa’s nurse is a former porn star. No one really knows what’s up with the maid…

Iony and uncle charlie share a moment
Unusual romances abound in Be Our Guest. Here Ione and Uncle Hamish share a moment.

With her rapidfire roommate Ione and an unexpected ally by her side, can Abigail use her own special brand of crazy to triumph over this madness and save her marriage? In a comedy such as this I think you can guess. However, the road there is wild and a heck of a lot of fun. A lot of this is due to the great cast, students who seem to inhabit their roles, and professors who throw themselves into it with all they’ve got. The production staff, also, is incredible, keeping things rolling speedily between acts and giving the stage a lived-in, homelike feel.

After the play was over, I got to hang out and interview two of the behind-the-scenes powerhouses behind the Masquers, and how they got into Theatre Arts at Duquesne. Part of me is convinced it’s fate. Or some kind of devious plot. You decide. The interview is here on our youtube channel. Check it out!

Last, while Be Our Guest may have just closed, the Red Masquers have plenty of other plays and events going on. This Friday, October 25th, at 6 p.m. they are starring in a live game of clue on a-walk. I know I’ll be there. Will you?

-Laura

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