Today’s featured event:
Watch Reduxion Theatre Company’s adaptation of Henry Fielding’s 1749 novel “History of Tom Jones, a Foundling” at 8 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at its Broadway Theater, 1613 N Broadway Ave.
The new play is developed by Reduxion founders and married couple, Tyler and Erin Woods. Written by Erin and directed by Tyler, this world premiere play based on Fielding’s classic novel is set in England and follows the risqué adventures of a handsome young man with a lust for life and an eye for the ladies.
“History of Tom Jones, a Foundling,” is part romantic comedy, part social commentary and all action-adventure. The book has been the subject of many film and television versions including the popular 1963 movie, “Tom Jones,” starring Albert Finney.
The film was so popular that the up-and-coming English singer Thomas John Woodward changed his name to that of the title character, “Tom Jones,” in the early 1960s because he liked the racy persona.
“The story is remarkably ahead of its time,” said Erin Woods, Reduxion’s managing director and playwright.
The title character is good-hearted and not concerned with how people see him. “It is a commentary on how the appearance of goodness is different from true honesty and integrity.” But most people know “Tom Jones” as a sexy, sword-fighting, adventure story.
There is sex and violence throughout the play. “It’s a ‘bodice-ripper,’” said Erin. “Tom Jones” is a comedy about human nature; our follies and propensity toward vice. “I wanted a play that stayed true to the original novel, which is quite racy.” This show is not for younger audiences.
Reduxion has a reputation for creating new art based on classic stories. “We aim to be artistically inventive and fresh,” said Tyler Woods, Reduxion artistic director and production director for “Tom Jones.” Oklahoma audiences are interested in live performance that surprise and challenge them. “We will bring them something they have never seen before,” said Tyler, “Even if they know the story of ‘Tom Jones,’ this new play is full of surprises.”
The production uses experimental movement styles, theatrical pantomime, puppetry, innovative stage-combat practices and RTC’s original brand of “theatre-in-your-lap” audience-interaction. Additionally, the boundary-pushing period costuming includes Marie Antoinette-style tall powdered wigs and giant hoop-skirts. It’s visually stunning, fast-paced, fun and provocative.
As founders of Reduxion, Tyler and Erin share a vision for the theatre company, but “Tom Jones” is the first project they have developed together. “Working with Tyler as the director of my new script has been great,” said Erin. “He brings such innovation and accessibility to live theatre. We share a focus on ensemble-based performance and a true sense of fun in storytelling; I think that makes us a good team.”
Performances continue through May 25. Information: 651-3191 or www.reduxiontheatre.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.