Had She Been In Love


Something pretty to start off a long weekend here at AustenBlog World Headquarters…a rehearsal of the song “Had I Been In Love” (a/k/a Lizzy’s Big Epiphany) from Austen’s Pride: A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice, coming up at the Nazareth College Arts Center in Rochester, NY, this month. The performers are Heather Botts as Elizabeth Bennet and Lindsie VanWinkle as Jane Austen. Yes, this is the P&P musical we’ve seen several times and been loving for years…the title has been changed to distinguish it from the several other P&P musicals around.


Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, A Musical at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts


pnpmusicalThe wonderful, beautiful, moving musical of Pride and Prejudice by Amanda Jacobs and Lindsay Warren Baker is currently playing at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts in the Los Angeles area. It is running through May 10. If you are anywhere in the area and can get there, make every opportunity to do so. It’s a terrific adaptation and the music is wonderful. To get a flavor of it, check out the musical’s Facebook page as well as La Mirada’s Facebook page, which have photos and videos of the play. They are both public, so you don’t need to be a Facebook member to see the photos and videos. There have also been several reviews: StageSceneLA, Broadway World (lots of photos in that one!), and the OC Register.

Reading of Doubt & Deliberation in New York City


A reading of Doubt & Deliberation, a new play by Lynn Marie Macy, will have a reading in New York City on Monday, February 23. The reading was rescheduled from an earlier date due to weather. Unfortunately the Editrix will not be able to attend, but she hopes other Janeites get a chance to check it out.

Based on a true story, Doubt & Deliberation is a theatrical examination of the magical intersection of art with real life. Anna dreams of becoming a writer like her celebrated Aunt while her cousin Fanny scrutinizes the qualities of her multiple suitors. Both young women look to Jane Austen for advice and lessons in literature, life and love.

Ms. Macy is the playwright of Northanger Abbey: A Romantic Gothic Comedy, which we have seen and been delighted by in two different productions. She also directed the splendid video of Henry Tilney doing a parody of the Old Spice ads.

So we think this reading is well worth checking out!

Dearest Jane! who could have done less for her?


This made our icy tar-coated heart melt like an ice cream cone in the sun.

Blue Ridge Community College student Madeline Delp rolls across the Patton Auditorium stage in her wheelchair while rehearsing the role of Miss Jane Bennet in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice.”

[. . .]

Then, in this her final semester at BRCC, Delp discovered that the drama department would produce a stage version of one of her favorite books — “Pride and Prejudice.” She decided she simply had to be a part of it.

Encouraged by English instructor Sam Sonnier and other faculty members, she approached Treadway, director of the drama program at BRCC, asking if it would be possible for her to audition for a part.

Without any hesitation, Treadway said yes. Delp was cast, and Treadway began to work with student services and the maintenance department to make all the necessary arrangements.

We hope Mr. Bingley appreciates this fiesty version of Jane Bennet. Performances at the college in North Carolina started yesterday and continue throughout the month. If any Gentle Readers attend, we would love a report or review.

Reading of Musical Emma in Albany


There will be a reading of “The Emma Woodhouse Single Girls Guide,” a musical “stage re-imagination” of Emma, on December 8 at 3 p.m. at the Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany (at least, that’s where we think it is; it’s hard to tell from the article).

In Austen’s Emma, Emma Woodhouse fancies herself to be naturally gifted matchmaker. The story begins when Emma takes it upon herself to find an eligible match for her new friend, Harriet Smith. Emma is convinced that Harriet deserves to be a gentleman’s wife and sets her friend’s sights on Mr. Elton, the village vicar. Meanwhile, Emma persuades Harriet to reject the proposal of Robert Martin, a well-to-do farmer for whom Harriet clearly has feelings. In the process, she finds herself in an unconventional love match with resident “bad boy” bachelor, Mr. Knightly.

Bad boy? Knightley?

The new show sets the classic story in 1964 America. Kennedy will star as Emma Woodhouse, now a relationship advice columnist under the direction of her future paramour, Mr. Knightley. The character of Harriet is positioned as the single girl subject in Emma’s column.


Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice cleans up at NYMF Awards!


We have shamefully neglected the recent sellout run of “Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice” at the New York Musical Theater Festival. We didn’t neglect it so much as to not see it, of course; we thoroughly enjoyed the performance we attended with a Janeite-heavy crowd. (The non-Janeite members of NYMF who attended–who obviously attend many of the festival’s performances–were shocked that there was a long line for admittance and that it was sold out!)

We are absolutely delighted to report that the play has won six NYMF Awards–more than any other play in this year’s festival!

The musical adaptation of the literary classic earned six Awards for Excellence, including for leading actress Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd, James Joyce’s The Dead), as well as the Most Promising Musical Award and the Stage Entertainment Development Award. Baker and Jacobs collaborated on book, music and lyrics.

Ms. Champlin’s award was well-deserved. She was absolutely perfect as Jane Austen writing her masterpiece (and singing like an angel!). And many congratulations to the delightful Amanda Jacobs and Lindsay Warren Baker for taking this play to the big city and launching it so spectacularly. We couldn’t be more pleased–and are even more pleased that so many of our Janeite acquaintance got to see the play, which we’ve been raving about for years. Here’s to an even bigger launch!

Here’s a video with images from the NYMF play and a song from the demo.

Getting Local With Jane


Now through September 24, 2011, Louisville, Kentucky: The Actors Theatre of Louisville presents Jon Jory’s new adaptation of Sense and Sensibility (we understand he’s going to get around to all six eventually). Here’s an article about the play. Tickets start at $10.

Now through October 9, 2011, Costa Mesa, California: The South Coast Repertory Theatre presents Pride and Prejudice. The Los Angeles Times has a fun piece about the play. Tickets are $20-68.

September 29-October 11, 2011, New York City: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, A Musical at the New York Music Theatre Festival. We think it might be sold out! Wow! We are investigating and will let you know. We will be attending, of course. WE ARE SO EXCITED ZOMG. Check out the Video tab at the link above–the videos are really fun and you’ll get to meet the cast and crew and creative folks involved in the production. Also check out the play’s Facebook page for more fun.

October 14, 2011, Fort Worth, Texas: If one might happen to find oneself in Fort Worth that particular Friday night (we don’t know why you would, but you know, you might), there is a really spectacular event at the Barnes & Noble in Sundance Square from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.: a launch party and author signing for Jane Austen Made Me Do It, edited by the lovely and talented Laurel Ann Nattress, and featuring stories inspired by Jane Austen’s work and written by a star-studded cast of talented authors, many of whom will be in attendance at this great event! One of those talented authors *cough* is your humble Editrix, who as always will be delighted to meet her readers.

October 26, 2011, Fort Worth, Texas: The excitement continues in Fort Worth. The JASNA AGM will be going on all weekend, and Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. there will be an author signing with a really extensive list of authors! Do stop by if you will be at the AGM.

November 3-6, Winkler, Manitoba: Flatlands Theatre Company presents Pride and Prejudice. Tickets are $10-16.