OGDEN — The Ziegfeld Theatre continues its season with a talent-saturated production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. With the book and lyrics by Nan Knighton and music by Frank Wildhorn, this beloved musical has been entertaining audiences for decades. Directed by Morgan Parry, The Scarlet Pimpernel takes place during the French Revolution and opens with the stunning Marguerite St. Just, a French actress who is taking her final bow before marrying Sir Percy Blakeney and moving to England. Prior to her departure, she is blackmailed by Citizen Chauvelin and ultimately assists in the demise of Percy’s friend the Marquis. Upon learning of his wife’s supposed betrayal and wanting to vindicate the death of the Marquis, Percy recruits his friends to assume the role of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Together they help those who have been imprisoned by the French Revolutionaries escape to England. Under the guise of foppishness, the men create confusion and madness for Chauvelin and the French army who are being outmaneuvered at every turn.

Show closes March 18, 2023

Cameron Kapetanov provided a powerful performance as Sir Percy Blakeney. His vocals were beautifully strong, and he commanded the stage. He communicated bravery and integrity while also maintaining a sense of humility towards those willing to battle with him. Of course, no production of The Scarlet Pimpernel is complete without flamboyance and flair of which Kapetanov delivered supremely. Becky Jeanne Knowles was equally mesmerizing with her performance as Marguerite St. Just. She delivered powerful vocals as well as an impressive French accent while speaking. An unfortunate technical difficulty resulted in Knowles singing “I’ll Forget You” without the musical accompaniment. Seemingly unphased by the mishap, Knowles continued her performance which, if anything, exposed her vocal abilities even more. My applause to Knowles and all who were on stage during that scene for their professionalism.

Quinn Kapetanov as Citizen Chauvelin played a convincing antagonist and provided more stunning vocals. His delivery of anger, frustration and annoyance provided a nice contrast to the fun-loving, eccentric Percy, even if his French accent could use some refining. Most enjoyable were his passionate scenes with Knowles. The pair’s chemistry was palatable and electric, thanks no doubt to intimacy coordinator Marinda Maxfield. Other noteworthy performances were by Andy Conlin as Armand St. Just (Marguerite’s brother) that is secretly helping Percy, and the Bounders performed by Sam Young, Garrett Rushforth, Dylan Floyd Panter, Troy Martell, Mitch Fowers, and Danny Hall. Each had his own personality, but together they brought a camaraderie to the stage that seemed very sincere. Also, Tim Behumim as the Prince of Wales. That wig will not soon be forgotten.

Speaking of wigs, the work of costume designer Stephanie Colyar cannot go unnoticed and was a primary strength of this production. Each costume was well-fitted and visually appealing. Colyar’s use of color, detail and texture truly brought to life not only the characters but also the time-period.  Marguerite’s costumes were especially delightful. It seemed each time she appeared on stage, she was draped in another beautiful gown. Equally impressive were the costumes for Percy and his men, especially during the performance of “The Creation of Man.” The bright colors and variety of fabric helped to accentuate the foppish guise. Set work and design by Steve Hill, Nieve Parry, Erica Choffel, and Kiera Stay was another strength to the production. Particularly striking was the guillotine which was so realistic I was caught off guard the first time the blade dropped.

Despite all its strengths, however, the production was not without a few flaws. Many scene changes were made behind the curtain but with dialogue still going on either in front of the curtain or off to the side of the stage. More than once, the work being done behind the curtain was too loud, even distracting. Other minor sound issues resulted in not being able to hear certain dialogue from secondary characters, but those instances were few and far between. I would also reconsider the pre-show announcements since they are projected before the show begins and are included in the playbill.

The Ziegfeld Theatre is a shining example of the goodness that is community theatre. It’s production of The Scarlet Pimpernel reminds us that bravery and loyalty can persist even in times of war and peril. It is intense and serious and silly and hilarious all at the same time. Despite all the talent, I think what I enjoyed most about the production was the feeling of how much the ensemble seemed to enjoy working with each other. I left the production feeling inspired by the talent I had just witnessed.

The Scarlet Pimpernel plays at The Ziegfeld Theatre, 3934 Washington Blvd, Ogden, UT on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays at 7:30 February 24 through March 18, 2023 with an ASL performance on March 10 and a 2:00 performance on March 11. Tickets are from $22.95 – $24.95. For more information, visit zigarts.com.