Thursday, March 20, 2014

Adapting Jane: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at People's Light and Theater

Jessica Bedford as Jane Bennet
There's nothing I love more than an adaptation of a classic Brit lit novel...especially if it's one by Jane Austen. I'm endlessly interested in how great works are translated--into film, literary retellings, and stage performances.  What gets kept in, left out, transformed?  I'm hungry to find out.  

So I was thrilled when People's Light and Theater Company in Malverne, Pennsylvania, invited me to attend their production of Pride and Prejudice, coupled with a pre-show open house.    

Part of the festivities included a brief lesson in regency dance. That's my husband Andre in the front and to the right, prepping for the Netherfield ball.



But of course the night's highlight was the play itself, a spirited and swift production in which dance was used to bridge key dramatic moments.  



The entire cast was splendid, the set spare and elegant.  Electricity crackled between the two main couples, and Robert DePonte (Mr. Collins) and Tom Teti (Mr. Bennet) were laugh-out-loud funny.


Marc LeVasseur as Mr. Darcy

There's still time to catch the show, which runs until March 30.  
and Julianna Zinkel as Elizabeth Bennet
I'm also eager for People's Light's upcoming production of Sarah Ruhl's Dear Elizabeth, a dramatization of the correspondence between two of my favorite poets, Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop. 

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