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Harriet Wilson – 'The Little Fellow'

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

The Cygnet Theater opened the world premiere of "The Little Fellow (or the Queen of Tarts Tells All)," Wednesday, Oct. 25, about the life of a resourceful English courtesan in the 1830s.

Some people are old enough to recall there was a time when a production like this could not have mustered past the Hays Code, the Catholic League or the League of Decency.

That said, today it's like no big deal. After years of being desensitized by the national media pouring unabridged sexual content into our living rooms, the audience didn't even flinch when many forbidden four-letter words were flung about.

Furthermore, even during what should have been a lewd-in-your-face sexual act, on stage no less, no one in the audience even flinched. Sadly, we've seen more explicit behavior on the Entertainment channel.

One has to wonder was it because the story is almost 200 years old or because the characters weren't committed?

The small cast included Julia, played by Sofia Jean Gomez; Harriet, played by Keiko Green; Lord Hill/Lord Wellesley, played by MJ Sieber, and the maid called Mary, played by Rachel Vanwormer. Unfailingly, Vanwormer was brilliant as she bounced from scene to scene.

The set was designed by Yi-Chen Lee; Steven Leffue handled sound with Anne E. McMills providing the lighting design and Joshua Heming as the lighting-design fellow. Wigs were by Peter Herman. The play was directed by Rob Lutfy and written by Kate Hamill.

Finally, no matter how loud the characters screamed at each other during the one-act, one-hour-and-forty-five-minute play, it was impossible to follow their high-pitched British accents. Unfortunately, this bawdy tale failed to shock.

"The Little Fellow (Or the Queen of Tarts Tells All)" will continue at The Cygnet Theater in Old Town San Diego until Nov. 25. Tickets are available by calling 619-337-1525 or visiting Rated 7 out of 10.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached by email at [email protected].


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