Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jane Austen’s EMMA A Musical Romantic Comedy at The Old Globe

This past Saturday night I had a GNO (girls' night out) with Stacey, Sugar, Theresa and Jennifer. We went for drinks at The Prado and to opening night of Jane Austen’s EMMA, A Musical Romantic Comedy at The Old Globe. Good company, good drinks and a good show ... that makes for a great night out!

Emma, A Musical Romantic Comedy

I worked for the Magic Theatre in San Francisco for 3 years working stage production, assistant directing and marketing. No matter how much work is put into a performance to get it ready there is nothing like the opening night of a show. After months, weeks, days of rehearsal and previews it all culminates into the success of opening night. Critics are mixed in with family, friends and colleagues of the cast and crew. You can feel the electricity of excitement and anxiousness in the air. On Saturday night I could feel all of that the minute I sat down in my center balcony seat.

As I mentioned in my previous post I studied Jane Austen as part of my major in university, so I was very skeptical about having one of her a novels turned into a musical. Austen's wrote stories that are relevant at any age, especially Emma. The story of Emma is simple ... a young lady who think she knows what is best for everyone, but in her process of trying to improve her friends' lives she discovers herself. So did adding musical numbers into this story make it even better?

I loved how some musical numbers brought out the comedy of characters like Harriet's Humiliation. Unfortunately, I felt that some songs were pointless or too long. For example, The Argument between of Emma and Mr. Knightley in his office when he lectured her on match making seemed forced. To me, there is room for improvement with the musical numbers.

The adaptation of the novel was decent. Some modern references I found awkward and jarring from the period piece, but most people might not notice them as much as I did (guess I'm just an Austen snob).

With that said, I thought Patti Murin did a wonderful job as Emma and Dani Marcus was a perfect Harriet Smith. The relationship between the actors was believable. I enjoyed the performances of Will Reynolds as Frank Churchill, Amanda Naughton as Mrs. Weston and Brian Herndon as Mr. Elton. I thought Adam Monley came off too pompous and not charming enough to make me really want Emma to be with him. Kelly Hutchinson's performance of Mrs. Elton drove me crazy ... but, I guess that is what that character is supposed to do!

What did impress me was the set. I loved how the floor rotated limiting the set change time. There were some issues with sight line according to other audience members, but I think as the show settles in these little issues will work themselves out.

Emma set

Overall, I recommend that you see Jane Austen’s EMMA A Musical Romantic Comedy at The Old Globe. It was entertaining and will make for a good night out at the theatre. Also, San Diego Bargain Mama Members receive 50% discount and NO handling fee! Click here to purchase tickets. Select tickets before or on January 22, 2011 and use the Promo Code: SDBM.* All tickets will be waiting at Will Call, located at the Box Office, under your name.

If you see the show come back and let me know what you thought!

*Discounts apply to Area A seating only. Offer only available online.