STORY WRITTEN BY TARA LYNN J OHNSON
For 21st Century Media
Two women interested in the same man — what could possibly go wrong? Well, maybe everything. In “Fallen Angels,” the first show of the new season at Villanova Theatre, two friends, both former lovers of the same man, see him again. Will their friendship and their marriages survive?
The play, a farce set in 1920s London, was written by renowned playwright Noël Coward and features lots of laughs and physical comedy. It’s also the Villanova debut for first year masters of theatre student Rebecca Jane Cureton. She plays Julia, who’s best friends with Jane, played by second year masters student Jill Jacobs.
Cureton said Julia is sophisticated and very much a modern woman. “She has a flat in London and wears trousers,” she said. “She’s refined and reserved, but also has these moments of vulnerability. We see that she wants to be more adventurous than is really acceptable in her eyes.”
Cureton likes Julia and can relate to her, though there are differences. “I definitely like to keep calm and reserved and have a logical approach.” she said. “Then there’s also the part of me that isn’t quite as flamboyant and dramatic. I don’t feel the need to put on airs.”
She’s having a great time performing the physical comedy as well as invigorating her lines with emotion. “These women are fighting their inner desires for this passionate romance, trying to maintain the culture that makes them act a certain way,” she said. “I hope people enjoy the kind of frivolity and imbalance of these women as they try to grasp balance in their own lives.”
And though there will be laughter, it’s relatable. “It’s a light comedy, but has a lot of truth to life,” Cureton said.
Jill Jacobs’s Jane is a well-to-do British woman who wants to be “at the height of decorum all the time. She’s frantic and highly emotional and has a hard time containing herself,” Jacobs said.
She can relate. “One of the main reasons I was drawn to Jane — I’m a rather manic person,” Jacobs said. “It’s easy to get into it, but a challenge to work on the idea of containing your emotions and letting them out at certain times. That’s something we all struggle with, I think.”
One of the best things about the play, she thinks, is the emphasis on women being empowered. “In the 1920s, women were coming into their own. [In the show] women shine and take the lead,” she said.
Since Cureton is a new student, she and Jacobs have never worked together, but that hasn’t made the work difficult. “I feel like I’ve been working with her my whole life,” Jacobs said. “We have a comfortable relationship. People say it’s like we’ve known each other for years.”
Just like Jane and Julia.
Cureton and Jacobs’ friendship will still be intact after the run (Sept. 23 through Oct. 5), but will Jane and Julia’s? And will either of the women end up happy and/or with their old lover in the end? That’s something viewers will have to see to find out. No matter what happens, though, both actors promise that audiences will laugh, a lot, because “We’re having so much fun,” Cureton said.
IF YOU GO
“Fallen Angels” is on stage Villanova Theatre, Vasey Hall, Villanova University, Lancaster and Ithan avenues, Villanova.
Preview is Sept. 23; runs Sept. 24 through Oct. 5 (Tue.-Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 2 p.m.).
Tickets: preview $21; Tue.-Thu. $23; Fri.-Sun. $25; discounts for students, seniors, and groups. For more information, call (610) 519-7474 or visit www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/theatre.html
MORE ON STAGE
Here’s a brief look at the rest of the 2014-2015 season.
“Big Love” on stage Nov. 11-23.
“Michael & Edie” on stage Feb. 10-22.
“The Threepenny Opera” on stage April 14-26.