The Experience: Streaming Musicals streams Pride and Prejudice
The streaming world of musical theatre just got more lively thanks to Streaming Musicals (streamingmusicals.com). They have gifted us with a special free live streaming event tonight, Friday, April 10 at 630pm (with encore presentations at 10pm, and the next morning at 9am ET – make sure you go to their website and sign in) that was filled with playful joy and romantic pleasure. Hosted by two-time Tony Award nominee Laura Osnes (Broadway’s Bandstand), Tony Winner Beth Leavel (Broadway’s The Prom) and SiriusXM’s Julie James, the ‘virtual opening night’ for the debut of Pride and Prejudice is just what the doctor ordered for these difficult nights of our self-isolation. It’s a lovely and charming new musical adaptation that celebrates the world of Jane Austen with engaging and sweet music, lyrics, and book by Tony Award nominee Paul Gordon (Broadway’s Jane Eyre). Directed with grace and fortitude by TheatreWorks’ Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley and choreographed with a light air for romance by Dottie Lester-White, Pride and Prejudice, the Musical was filmed at the Tony Award-winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, CA., where it played its world premiere from December 4, 2019, to January 4, 2020 where it established an all-time box office record.
There’s no surprise there, as the sparks fly with energy and wit, when the spirited Elizabeth Bennet, played adoringly by Mary Mattison (“The Roma Project“) runs headfirst into the rich, and proud Mr. Darcy, delightfully portrayed by Justin Mortelliti (TNG’s Clueless). It’s a clever quick witted ride into each other’s arms, filled to the edge with jabs and pokes, just the way we like these two. Sweetly done with a strong flow and a gentle push, the musical dances forth as lively and engaging as one could hope, and although the music doesn’t exactly fit the timely scene, courtesy of a strong set design by Joe Ragey, lighting design by Pamila Z. Gray, and costumes by Fumiko Bielefeldt, the energy is infectious and the romantic air is full of fragrance. Sharon Rietkerk as Jane Bennet and Christopher Vettel as Mr. Bennet are perfectly matched and we cheer them on to their lovely engagement, with Taylor Crousore making a perfectly handsome but not so lovable Mr. Wickham. Lucinda Hitchcock Cone’s Lady Catherine, along with Brian Herndon’s Mr. Collins and his future wife, Dani Marcus’s Charlotte Lucas find their storylines somewhat underutilized, but their delivery has a determined grace.
Scenic design is by Joe Ragey, costume design is by Fumiko Bielefeldt, lighting design is by Pamila Z. Gray, sound design is by Brendan Ames, and wig design is by Roxie Johnson. Dialect coach is Kimberly Mohne Hill. William Liberatore serves as musical director, with orchestrations by Conor Keelan.