Party Play: "Sense and Sensibility"

Beth Fhaner
 | Sep 11, 2018

From the opening lines, Sense and Sensibility captured the attention of the First Night audience and never let up, delivering two-plus hours of delightful performances, sparkling dialogue, colorful period costumes, dancing and much more.

The First Night audience showed their appreciation with generous laughter and enthusiastic applause. Theatregoers greatly enjoyed Jessica Swale’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s popular novel and the performances of the talented cast of 11 actors. Led by Rebecca Mozo as Marianne Dashwood and Hilary Ward as Elinor Dashwood, the entire ensemble delivered extraordinary performances while transporting the audience to the Regency era of early 1800s England. The stunning set design by François-Pierre Couture and multiple visual projections by David Murakami also evoked the ambience of Britain during the Regency period.

Honorary Producer and First Night attendee Sandy Segerstrom Daniels found the play to be thoroughly entertaining. “SCR’s artistry never disappoints, and I was amazed and swept along by the creative staging and use of scenic projections,” she said. “But most of all, I fell under the spell of the irresistible Dashwood sisters and their search for love. I loved it!”

A special pre-show dinner at The Westin, sponsored by South Coast Plaza, welcomed nearly 100 guests including 15 members of the Segerstrom family in thanks for their generous support of SCR through the years and, in particular, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Segerstrom Stage. The event was beautifully adorned with red roses, the color that symbolizes a 40th anniversary. Attendees dined on barramundi sea bass sautéed with rosemary and served with garlic-mashed potatoes, haricot verts, baby carrots and spaghetti squash, which was followed by a decadent Opera cake with fresh berries for dessert. While guests indulged in the delectable cuisine, they also enjoyed a slideshow featuring iconic moments from the last four decades of Segerstrom Stage productions.

Guests who attended the post-show cast party, which was held on SCR’s Ela's Terrace, were welcomed to an inviting, romantic backdrop, as tabletops were covered with gold silk linens and elegant red roses with greenery were displayed throughout the space in small round vases. While songs by The Beatles played in the background, the enchanting evening continued as partygoers enjoyed sampling an array of savory bites and chatting with their fellow theatregoers.

With a menu inspired by British cuisine, the celebratory soirée was catered by Crème de la Crème and featured passed hors d’oeuvres such as sausage rolls with spicy mustard dip, mini ​chicken Wellington with cognac reduction sauce and potted shrimp salad on country toast with fresh dill. Other scrumptious appetizers included petite beef shepherd pie with a mashed potato top, ​hunter’s vegetable stew in mini casseroles, cheese and crisp veggie platters, in addition to sliced breads, crostinis, crackers and crisps.

For a sweet finish, partygoers were tempted by an ​autumn apple cobbler with vanilla whipped cream—a delicious dessert that few could resist!  

The evening’s signature cocktail was a “Gin Austen,” which was comprised of Gordon’s Dry Gin with ginger ale and lime, a fitting ​beverage to honor one of England’s most popular and enduring novelists.

First Night guests were thrilled to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with director Casey Stangl and the entire cast at the after-party. All the while, lively conversation and laughter continued to swirl around Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s beloved story about the Dashwood sisters, who chase their dreams from Devonshire to London and back in this charming romantic classic.

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