Readers, you’ve got to know: we at Austenacious read what might be considered a lot of Jane Austen stuff on the internet. For everything that appears on this site, there’s an awful lot that doesn’t make the cut—and it’s all due to that wonder of the postmodern world, the Google Alert. The whole concept of this is pretty mind-boggling, when you think about it: every time anybody anywhere says anything about Jane Austen, we know about it. That’s insane! But what is equally insane to me is this: fully a quarter of the links that come through our inboxes have something to do with stage productions of Austen works, usually Pride and Prejudice.
My Beloved Sisters and I saw some live-theater Jane action once, in opera form at a weekend workshop at San Francisco State University. It was delightful, and we all came out wondering why nobody’s made their millions on Universally Acknowledged: The Musical, or whatever. So it’s not the concept or the general appeal that confuses me, exactly; it’s just that I have so many questions! Such as:
- Are there really that many theater troupes doing Jane at one time? I mean, I love Pride and Prejudice as much as (probably more than) the next girl, right? But the numbers on this just seem unreal. It’s gotta be some kind of conspiracy. By which I mean a conspiracy of sweetness and relational equality, but still.
- Is it all the same play? There are two options here, more or less: either somebody wrote the definitive Pride and Prejudice stage adaptation and I missed it, or many, many people have written un-definitive versions and are having them performed worldwide. This seems like a bizarre duplication of effort, but hey. More playwrights making it, I say! Congratulations to all of you! Enjoy your name in lights!
- Musical, or no? I’m just saying: I need my singing Mr. Collins, stat.
- Why has Jane On Stage never made it to the big time? If that many people in Cleveland/Yorkshire/Manitoba/Tallahassee are making the regional/local/village-wide production worth it, just think how many tickets Broadway could sell! I’m calling it out now: I don’t know who Neil Patrick Harris is going to play, but we’ll get him in there somewhere.
Readers, have you ever seen a Jane work on the stage? Please advise.Jane Austen, Neil Patrick Harris, opera, Pride and Prejudice, theater on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 · 4 Comments »