Triumph of Love…Triumphs at Austin Playhouse by Joan Baker

5392_10151529720254475_2097282619_nAustin Playhouse’s production of Triumph of Love directed by Lara Toner is a clever, funny, timeless tale that sparkles with an abundance of talent!

Triumph of Love, book by James Magruder with music by Jeffrey Stock and lyrics by Susan Birkenhead, is based on an 18th century play by Marivaux. Leonide, princess of Sparta, falls in love with a young man named Agis whose parents once ruled Sparta and were killed by Leonide’s family. Agis’s purpose in life is to kill the princess and regain the throne that rightfully belongs to him. Intrigue, disguises, multiple identities keep things moving along.

Though most of us can only cope with one role at a time, Sarah Zeringue artfullytriumph-0116 handles the multiple identities of Leonide as she repurposes herself as Phocion, Cecile, and Aspasie to meet the needs of the moment. Leonide is indeed multiple things to multiple people.

 Accompanying Leonide is her bawdy maid Corine, played by Lara Wright, whose comedic talent and energy make her a favorite. She is willing to sacrifice herself and possibly her virtue (should she have any left) to support her mistress’s quest for Agis.

 Others in the cast are the oh-so-talented Rick Roemer as Hermocrates who transitions from cold man of reason to one who dares to offer his heart for love. Hermocrates’ sister, Hesione (played by Boni Hester) has also detached herself from life and love and through her encounter with Cecile (Princess Leonide in disguise) has dared to love again. 

 Through the antics of Dimas (played by Brian Coughlin) and Harlequin (played by Huck Huckaby), we have the spice that makes this production such a tasty dish. Of course, we must have a prince for the love interest and that is Agis (played by Glenn DeVar).

996170_10151531204299475_511984281_nAs with any Austin Playhouse production, the technical aspects are what you would expect from a professional company. The lighting, the sound, the staging, the set, the costumes-all meet the standards we have come to expect of the Austin Playhouse. However, the costumes bear a few special comments. They were both rich and elegant yet for the most part simple enough to enhance, but not to distract. They established that this musical “ostensibly set in ancient Greece…is decidedly more Baroque than Spartan.”

 The show runs through July 7 with Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 pm and Sunday performances at 5:00 pm. There is one Thursday performance June 27 at 8:00 pm. For ticket information, go to or call 512.476.0084.

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