Pleasure and Prejudice at Rochester’s Geva Theatre (A review)

April 5, 2017 by Tagged with:   
Posted in: Blogs

The author has no prejudices to talk of. But once i hear that somebody has attempted to adapt one of my beloved operates of literature for phase or monitor, I assume a failure, and that i am commonly suitable. There are, not surprisingly, exceptions. I do think of Booth Tarkington’s Alice Adams (1936 motion picture starring Katharine Hepburn), Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Gentlemen (1949 film starring Broderick Crawford), Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (1980 musical enjoy), and (surprisingly) The Lord with the Rings (2001, 2002, and 2003 films starring Ian McKellen).

Though the record of failures is way extended. Infamous among these are Fitzgerald’s The nice the great gatsby outfits (1974 movie starring Robert Redford); Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of your Vanities (1990 movie starring Tom Hanks); and Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1997 Broadway musical; we had the misfortune of attending a functionality together with the unspeakably awful Sebastian Bach during the title purpose).Geva Theatre

So after i observed that Geva Theatre (Rochester, Ny) was preparing to adapt Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to the previous exhibit of its 2007-08 season, I had grave reservations. I understand and appreciate the novel, but I did not sense any need to have to determine it enacted – or worse nevertheless, mangled – on stage. The good thing is, the Geva demonstrate was a pleasant shock.

Marge Betley (Geva’s resident dramaturg) and Mark Cuddy (Geva’s Creative Director and director of the exhibit) tailored the novel them selves, and so they chose to stick as intently to Jane Austen’s tale since they could. They extra no new characters or new scenes, and so they used just as much of Austen’s language as you possibly can. Prudently, they made the decision never to utilize a narrator.

Inspite of Betley’s and Cuddy’s clever choices, the end result was not persuasive theater. For one thing, there were simply just a lot of people; familiar as I’m with Pleasure and Prejudice, I continue to had problems trying to keep observe of a few of them.

David Christopher Wells and Meghan Wolf in But many of the Geva audience truly wanted was to view their favorite Austen characters arrive at lifestyle. They weren’t let down, specially in Elizabeth Bennet, performed by Meghan Wolf, a fetching brunette who gave us the many vivacity, wit, and intelligence that a person could want in Austen’s heroine.

For that romantically inclined, Ms. Wolf and David Christopher Wells, who performed Mr. Darcy, made a placing few. And as director, Mr. Cuddy produced absolutely sure that his audience would consider not simply in Elizabeth’s inconceivable attraction to the ill-mannered Mr. Darcy, but in addition in her associations along with her sister Jane (Alyssa Rae), her very best mate Charlotte Lucas (Vanessa LaFortune), and, a lot of all, her father. As performed by Dude Paul, Mr. Bennet was a gratifyingly advanced character.