Enamored by Emma

By Richard Mineards   |   February 13, 2020
Ensemble Theatre Co. – “Emma” publicity 1/26/20 The New Vic Theatre

More than 200 years after her death in 1817, Regency writer Jane Austen is as popular as ever.

A new film version of her novel Emma, directed by Autumn de Wilde and starring Bill Nighy, Josh O’Connor and Rupert Graves, is being released later this month, and Masterpiece Theatre on PBS is running Sanditon, based on Austen’s unfinished 24,000 word 11-chapter novel, which has been wonderfully adapted by Andrew Davies.

And now the Ensemble Theatre Company has staged a musical adaptation of Emma by Tony Award-nominated composer Paul Gordon, who also worked his magic with Austen’s work Sense and Sensibility, wonderfully directed by Andrew Barnicle – who two years ago directed Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly, an imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice – with music direction by Brent Schindele.

Broadway veteran Samantha Eggers is superb as resident busybody Emma Woodhouse and Doug Carfrae as her doddering dad, with a wonderful supporting cast of Kevin Earley, Parker Harris, Kevin McMahon, Anna Mintzer, James Olivas, Brett Call, Jenna Lea Rosen, Janna Cardia, and Chelle Denton.

Stephen Gifford‘s scenic design is terrific, as are the costumes by Bruce Goodrich, and choreography by Jean Michelle Sayeg.

The show runs through February 23 and is not be missed.


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