Longtime AustenBlog Gentle Readers (we are refraining from calling you “old hands.” You’re welcome) will remember how we rhapsodized over the musical “Austentatious” when we first saw it at the 2006 Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and those who attended the JASNA AGM in Philadelphia in 2009 might have attended the concert performance of the play during the weekend. We just received news that the play will be published by Playscripts later this year. The creative team is also raising money to record a soundtrack, which we have wanted since we first saw it. They’re pretty close to their goal, and there is some cool swag for those who contribute, so check it out! $25 gets you a digital download of the soundtrack when it is completed. We’re off to contribute our mite directly we finish posting. Jazz Hands!
The musical is about a not-especially-accomplished community theatre group putting on the world’s worst stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Kitty and Mary are sunk entirely, and pirates are introduced (and you thought zombies were the first outrageous P&P mashup!). We would have liked to see some ninjas as well, but one can’t have everything. There are laughs both for Janeites (one joke pretty much stopped the staged reading at the AGM-weekend performance, as the Janeites applauded loud and long) and even more for theater types. It’s funny, rollicking, and an awful lot of fun (and they don’t make fun of Janeites at all–just Jane gone wrong!). There are a couple of songs available for listening on the play website.
(A small warning for those who might be concerned about such things: the play is irreverent and not completely family-friendly–by which we mean there are references to drug use and there was an f-bomb or two flung about, but not in the songs that we can recall.)