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By Beki Pineda

MARIE ANTOINETTE – Written by David Adjmi; Directed by Robert Kramer.  Produced by the Edge Theatre Company (1560 Teller, Lakewood) through Nov. 13. Tickets available at 303/232-0363 or theedgetheater.com

Check your Webster’s Dictionary and you’ll find there’s been an addition to one of the definitions. Under “tour de force,” it now reads: “An impressive performance or achievement that has been accomplished or managed with great skill, i.e., as in Missy Moore as Marie Antoinette.”

What a show!! It will make you laugh, bring the royals in history to a modern stage, and then wring you dry as you observe their decline. Much of the drama can be laid at the feet of playwright David Adjmi for creating a humanist view of a character from long ago, but bringing her into a modern sensibility. She is Kylie Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Lady Kate all rolled into one. The parallels to celebrity life today – the paparazzi, the fashion, the unhappy life behind the curtain, the scandals, the rise and ultimate fall  – are remarkably prescient .

Another part of the show’s brilliance is in the creative staging by Justine Lane. The stage at the Edge has been turned into the inside of a giant clock whose hands and gears open up to provide a storage space for the few props used in the show. Time passing and the changing world encroach on every moment when you live inside a clock. The cleverness continues in the design of the costumes by Annie Kaup and her team of stitchers.  Nothing so commonplace as hooped skirts and giant wigs for this crew.  Kimono’s that dance with LED lights are constructed to allow them to change shapes on stage. The gradual decline in prestige and power are ably illustrated by the amount and quality of the clothes worn. The technical team went all out on this one with the lighting design by Sean Mallery playing an important role in changing the mood and the unforgettable sound design and projections by Kenny Storms that brought the outside world into the royal sanctuary.

But most of all, this world belongs to Missy Moore. The woman is not off the stage for the entire production (except for intermission). She is ably supported by Christian Mast as her Louie, as unlikely a king as you’re every going to see. He would rather play with his mechanical toys than rule anything. She must be his backbone yet she is chastised on all sides for everything she does. As the sparkling world she has created begins to fray at the edges and as the Revolution arrives at the door, she and Louis become closer as they battle their common enemy. Even as she faces the angry crowds, she takes solace in the fact that 200 years later, we are still telling her story. Missy creates an unforgettable character with Marie and allows us to see her life and death struggle to save her family and be the Queen she was born to be. There’s a good reason Missy won the Henry last season for another performance at the Edge;  wouldn’t surprise this viewer if it didn’t happen again next season.

This is one not to miss!!

A WOW factor of 9.5!!