Attention, Austen fans: 'Emma' Comes to Book-It
Book-It Repertory Theatre continues its season with "Emma"
Seattle Times theater critic
"Emma" previews Tuesday-Thursday, opens Friday, and runs Wed.-Sun. through Nov. 22 at Center House Theatre, Seattle Center; $15-$40. (www.book-it.orgor 206-216-0833).
When Jane Austen set quill pen to paper in 1815, to write "Emma," she was departing from her oeuvre in several respects.
Unlike Austen's other heroines, Emma is a privileged young woman without a financial care in the world. She's also got far too much time on her hands. And though well-meaning, she's a dubious judge of character and an inveterate meddler into the romantic lives of others — with disastrous results.
All of this makes her an unusual Austen protagonist, and a deliciously comic one who's been well-served in recent,period-faithful TV and film versions of "Emma" (starring the likes of Kate Beckinsale and Gwyneth Paltrow), and in the updated movie romp "Clueless," with Alicia Silverstone as a Valley Girl Emma and a marathon shopper.
Book-It Repertory Theatre soon unveils its own, "Emma," with Sylvie Davidson in the title role and Marcus Goodwin directing a faithful adaptation by Rachel Atkins.
Austen fans know by now that Book-It is the go-to theater for dramatizations of this early 19th-century novelist's sparkling comedies of manners. And the company's prior renditions of "Persuasion" and "Pride and Prejudice" have been box-office hits.
So let's see ... after "Emma," what's left in the Austen canon? There's "Sense and Sensibility," "Northanger Abbey," "Mansfield Park" ...
Misha Berson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information in this article, originally published Oct. 16, 2009, was corrected the same day. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Repertory Theatre in Seattle opens its season with "Emma." The show is actually the second show of the Book-It season.
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