Saturday, January 05, 2008


    • Everyone is talking about 'Sundays with Jane.' Monroe News has another article about 'The Complete Jane Austen,' which begins next Sunday.

      [...] Jane Austen fans, rejoice. A most agreeable situation is at hand.

      PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" will air a "weekly feast" of the early 19th century author's works Jan. 13 through April 6."

      The Complete Jane Austen" features all-new productions of "Persuasion," "Northanger Abbey," "Mansfield Park," and "Sense and Sensibility" along with prior productions of "Pride and Prejudice" starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth and "Emma" starring Kate Beckinsdale.

      The four new productions were adapted by screenwriter Andrew Davies, who wrote "Bleak House" starring Gillian Anderson in 2006. Ms. Anderson will debut as one of "Masterpiece Theatre's" new hosts with the Austen series.

      Also slated is "Miss Austen Regrets," a story based on the author's own bittersweet love life.

      While Miss Austen's stories focus on the pursuit of "good matches," they're seen as witty social commentaries on middle-class life - especially for women - in the early 1800s. [...]

    • And just for fun, the Liverpool Echo has an article about Pride and Prejudice.

      [...] Colin Firth wasn’t the only piece of genius casting, though.

      With five Bennet girls to cast, producers ended up seeing virtually every actress between the ages of 15 and 28 who had the requisite period air about them. At the first audition, the actors read a few scenes in front of the producer and director before moving on to a screen test. For this they were dressed in period costume and given full hair and make-up.

      Jennifer Ehle, previously in The Camomile Lawn, became a definitive porcelain- complexioned Elizabeth.
      So who did those few hours of TV have the most lasting effect on? There are two tied winners.

      Firstly, a fictional one – Bridget Jones. The hopeless singleton finally found her man thanks to author Helen Fielding’s fondness for Colin Firth’s character.

      “I was so in love with Mr Darcy, so without hesitation I called Bridget’s Mr Right Mark Darcy,” she explained. Firth went on to play Mark Darcy in the film version.

      And the other? Colin Firth himself. When asked by a French magazine who were the women in his life, he replied: “My mother, my wife and Jane Austen.” [...]

    • Roma Torre of NY1 considers Jennifer Ehle's performance in The Coast of Utopia to be one of the year's best. Duh!
      [...] Among the women: "The Coast of Utopia's" Jennifer Ehle won a much deserved Tony and Martha Plimpton launched an incredible year, returning triumphantly to Lincoln Center in "Cymbeline." [...]

    • Finally, visit The Village Voice to read Michael Feingold's "A Year is Born," in which "the theater district gets its own Twelfth Night, complete with kings bearing gifts." Here is a snippet:
      [...] Just then a ray of predawn light, piercing the garage's grimy air, struck the sleeping baby's face, and it spoke for the first time. "Repertory," it said, in its piping voice.

      "Repertory," the women echoed, awestruck. "Of course." Stanislavsky's eyes brightened. Brecht grinned his sardonic grin. Ziegfeld's brow furrowed. "Repertory?" inquired Charlotte St. Martin. "I'm not sure I know what that is."

      "It isn't commercial," Estelle Parsons explained sadly. "That's why New York doesn't have it." "But we have dozens of nonprofit theaters," said Elizabeth McCann, gesturing around her, puzzled. "Yes, but they're not repertory theaters," cried Rosemary Harris, while Joanne Camp nodded energetically in agreement. "I've played in real repertory. I can tell you, there's nothing better—for actors, for the theater, for the audience." [...]

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