A recent Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park performance of “Ring Round the Moon” sometimes seemed to be going around in circles, but that was half the fun, since spinning can make you dizzy, like dancing.
Staged outdoors at the Myriad Gardens Water Stage, the production requires a considerable commitment, since it lasts nearly three hours, including two intermissions. But those attending are rewarded with a romantic comedy that brings to mind everything from “The Philadelphia Story” to “My Fair Lady,” seasoned with a dollop of French farcical absurdity.
Adapted by Christopher Fry from Jean Anouilh's “Invitation to the Castle,” the play is performed by a strong, 13-member cast, with even Servants 1 and 2 briefly stealing the show with their gymnastic antics.
Alex Enterline brings a roguish, Henry Higgins-like charm to Hugo, the 10-minute-older-twin, who seems to enjoy pulling people's strings, with a detachment that is both disturbing and hilarious.
Enterline is equally effective in his second, lesser role, as Frederic, the slightly younger twin, as trusting and clueless with women and the world as his brother is suave, cynical and overconfident.
The play isn't just about the two brothers, however, as the brilliantly written, if somewhat meandering script — and the rest of the performers — have a good time reminding us, from time to time.
Lauren Thompson is admirable as Isabella, a dancer with no pedigree, whom Hugo wants to make queen-for-a-night at a ball, to divert Frederic from getting engaged to a woman Hugo thinks is unsuitable.
The woman in question is Diana, played with just the right brittle but elegant, Roaring '20s veneer by Jamie Butemeyer, and their female catfight, when it finally comes, is memorable indeed.
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