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Stage Director Steven Daigle managed his large cast admirably, even appearing on stage infrequently as Mr Gardiner. (Robin DeLeon was his Mrs.) Choreographer Carol Hageman devised authentic-looking dances, which were a very popular pastime in that period. Lighting by Krystal Kennel greatly enhanced the production, changing day to night and back again. But it was the excellent costumes of Charlene Gross that brought this production its very Regency look. It was easy to see why young ladies were so entranced by a man in uniform. They did indeed, look splendid!

The music was tuneful and lyrical, as befits a story set in the early 1800s. It didn't challenge any of the singers by going out of the required vocal range. Conductor J Lynn Thompson kept everything together with a steady hand. Bravo to all the participants, especially the young composers, Lindsay Baker and Amanda Jacobs, who saw their dream -- the one that has occupied them for the last six years -- come vividly to life on the stage at Freedlander Theatre. Jacobs also assisted with the orchestrations. They joined the entire cast on stage during the bows garbed in gorgeous Regency-era costume. A fitting conclusion!

Amanda Jacobs (left) with Lindsay Baker in costume after the first performance of 'Pride and Prejudice' in Wooster, Ohio, USA on 14 July 2006. Photo © 2006 Kelly Ferjutz
Amanda Jacobs (left) with Lindsay Baker in costume after the first performance of 'Pride and Prejudice' in Wooster, Ohio, USA on 14 July 2006. Photo © 2006 Kelly Ferjutz

(Afterthought: Because the two are such devoted Jane-ites, it's entirely possible that they're too close to the forest to be able to see which trees should be removed in order to leave the remaining ones in better health. Don't misunderstand. I truly loved this piece -- all of it! -- but, the first act was just simply -- honestly -- too long. It should either be cut in two, making the piece into a more traditional three-act work, as are many operettas, or cut perhaps by half an hour or so. I'm not entirely convinced of the value of Mr Bingley's sisters, or even the two youngest of the Bennett girls. Lydia and Wickham's story is rather integral to the part, as is Darcy's sister, Georgianna, but leaving the others out would lop off a good part of the extraneous timber, allowing one's ears and rump to enjoy the remainder all the more.)

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Copyright © 1 August 2006 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA

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