A Story of Two Contrasting Worlds

A review of A Tale of Two Cities
at Seattle Children's Theatre
By Molly L.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens in his book-turned-play A Tale of Two Cities.

In fact, this story is not only based on the two cities of Paris and London, but it was also about two worlds, the world of the poor and the world of the rich. Unlike Miley Cyrus in Hannah Montana, the people of Paris during the French Revolution were unable to have “the best of both worlds.” The poor are stuck in their struggle to bring on the revolution and overthrow the rich, while the powerful people live a life without a conscience. These two groups of people lived in parallel universes, intertwined with events or meetings and spattered with blood on both sides.

Dickens’ story is focused around a preciously imprisoned Frenchman, Dr. Manette and his daughter, Miss Lucie, who is wooed by both Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton, two ambitious men each with their own secrets. As these characters travel back and forth between London and Paris they meet others like Monsieur and Madame Defarge, examples of the poor people who suffer under the oppression of French rule and worked tirelessly towards a Revolution. It is a story of opposites, of love and revenge, justice and ambition, and above all, how far you would go to get what you want.

The Seattle Children’s Theater does a wonderful job conveying the complex emotion and vivid differences between the characters, aided by artfully designed sets and costumes that bring the history characters into the world of today. The theater and stage come together to show this story of betrayal and promises, of friend against friend, and of a timeless story about coping with life and working for a common goal. Especially in this time of economic unrest, we are today faced once again with the question of how much loyalty and trust we give to one another.

This emotionally beautiful show captivates you until the final, deafening sound of the guillotine blade crashing down in the end.

A Tale of two Cities plays now through April 12, 2009
at Seattle Children's Theatre, located in Seattle Center
for tickets and information, visit www.sct.org or call 206.441.3322
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