LURAE STOKES, Special Correspondent
Ravishing outfits, extravagant décor and booze galore are all part of millionaire Jay Gatsby's parties. He is surrounded by romance and riches as he passionately pursues his once lost chance of love with Daisy Buchanan.
However, the glamorous lifestyle comes with greed and danger.
The roaring 1920s take over the Tyler Civic Theater stage in Simon Levy's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby."
Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday Oct. 14-16 and Oct. 21-23 at the theater, 400 Rose Park Drive.
Tickets can be purchased online at tylercivictheatre.com or at the box office before performances.
"This is one of the most skillful, respectful and moving adaptations (of the book that) I've seen," said DeAnna Hargrove, the play's director.
The production recreates the glitz, glam and music of the Jazz Age.
One of the biggest challenges, Hargrove said, was creating Jay Gatby's lavish surroundings. Set designers are creatively using lighting and props and have even created a pool and working fountain on the stage.
The setting also is enhanced through the use of 1920s period music and upbeat dances. The mood invites the audience to join the party, she said.
To capture the second-chance romance at the heart of the play, Hargrove tapped into her memories of getting a second a chance, after a separation, with the love of her life.
"You have to create a vision (when staging a play)," Hargrove said. In this case the vision emerged from her own experiences.
In a scene in which Jay expresses his love for Daisy, Hargrove was inspired by a special moment in which her husband expressed his love for her. Hargrove wants the audience to feel these passionate feelings.
Jonathan Dickson portrays Jay. He said it is exciting to play a man who is so powerful and prestigious. He also was moved by the love story.
Jay's "complete and utter affection for Daisy is inspiring," Dickson said.
Sara England, who plays Daisy, said she is curious how people will react to her character.
In terms of being glamorous and beautiful, she said Daisy is "like a Kardashian except classier."