Miss Austen’s “Emma” gets a musical.
At present, I’m jealous of anyone who lives near enough to London to check our their theater scene. Not only did the Royal Shakespeare Company do a musical version of one of my all-time favorite books, Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” but there’s a David Tennant/Catherine Tate “Much Ado About Nothing” getting ready to open. (Of course I’m a Doctor Who fan. What?)
Both of these aside, I recently learned of a new musical that set my heart twirling with joy.
It seems the Old Globe is running a new production – A musical version of Jane Austen’s “Emma.” In the past, attempts to make Ms. Austen’s works into musicals have either failed or just stalled out, so to see one actually hit the stage and seem successful is a joy. With Music, Lyric, and Book by Paul Gordon – the man behind one of my favorite musical adaptations, Jane Eyre – it looks to be one to watch.
Here’s a fun video of the creative team – including director Jeff Calhoun – discussing the show.
This video appears to be from a previous production of the show at the St. Louis Repertory Theatre. (I’m unable to track down current production footage at present, but this is from a production of “Emma” by Paul Gordon, and how many of those can there really be, right?)
I can’t imagine a better-suited Austen work becoming a musical. “Emma,” which was the inspiration for the movie “Clueless” is about romantic entanglements and silly people. What’s not to love about that?
After all, as the book says – “Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way.”