Review: ‘The Rover’ just punny enough without overdoing it

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“The Rover” is absolutely hilarious. The play may have been a bit long for a Tuesday night showing, but I was laughing at almost every scene. The amount of puns that were incorporated into this play was astonishing, with a sly sense of sexuality and playfulness.

When I entered the Harlen Adams Theatre, the stage was decorated more than I had expected. I was blown away by the set of two-story houses with open windows and a great balcony to the left. Vines were strung across the houses to give them an old European feel, along with a beautifully painted mural of a naked women with lush, long, hanging brown locks, as you would see on the streets of Italy.

Characters ran around the audience as we began to get settled in our seats. High-pitched laughter came from the other side of the room as I look over to see a gypsy dancing flirtatiously with an audience member. It was incredible that the actors could stay in character, although I am sure they knew a majority of the people in the crowd.

Taking place in 17th century Naples, the costumes could not have been more spot on. From tight corsets that emphasized the women’s bosoms, to pirate boots on men, the costumes fit each person’s personality perfectly.

Sensual prostitutes and inviting gypsies toyed with the Englishmen’s hearts, luring them in only to tease them a bit more.

Sexual puns ran throughout the play, from the moment we sat down to the moment the actors left the stage. The Englishmen, along with the Spaniards, would often talk about their swords while holding them in between their legs.

The English colonel, Belville, who was in love with a Spaniard named Florinda even told her how “booty… I mean beautiful” she was.

The actors involved the audience a few times during the play.

At the beginning of the play, an Englishman picked several women to dance with then ended his line by placing his foot on an armrest and thrusting himself toward the audience member sitting in front him. Everyone in the theater had a great laugh.

Although it was long and passed my bedtime by about an hour or two, I had a great time. I highly suggest seeing this play and supporting your local theater arts department. It is 100 percent worth it, and you will no doubt get a good laugh.

Dana Muensterman can be reached at [email protected] or @daaaynuh on Twitter.