One of the most anticipated shows at NYMF this year has got to be Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, A Musical (by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs) -- after all, get Mr. Darcy involved and you have an instant following. Tackling the classic story of Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters, this adaptation also explores Jane Austen’s journey to create her famous novel in the first place. You can sample some of the music on their website and buy tickets here (beware, pretty much all performances are sold out), but you can also get your Austen fix below, where Lindsay and Amanda answer their 5 questions about the show.
Me: How would you describe your show in one sentence?
Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs: If you are asking for a synopsis in one sentence, we would say...
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, A Musical is a story about "First Impressions" and second chances.
If you are asking a more thematic question, our answer is ...
We would describe our show as full of love and joy!
Me: Pride and Prejudice is a pretty iconic novel (with a pretty hardcore fanbase -- some of my friends are Austenites and it’s amazing). What was your approach to adapting such a well-known story?
Lindsay and Amanda: It was important to us to remain true to the spirit of Jane Austen. Her novels are not only romantic, but also incredibly smart and witty. We've tried to capture all of those traits in the musical and to stay as true to her characters as possible. We also took advantage of organizations like the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) which are full of knowledgeable "Janeites". JASNA has been a wonderful resource for researching and learning more about the novel and the life and times of Jane Austen herself. It was also a member of JASNA who encouraged us to visit England. And we are so glad we took that advice! After a three week research trip in 2003, we were able to complete the first draft of the show, and it was there that we were inspired to make Jane Austen an actual character in the musical.
Me: To what extent does Jane Austen herself play a role in the show?
Lindsay and Amanda: She never leaves the stage. Because Jane Austen is reviewing and revising her work (into the story we now know as Pride and Prejudice), the story doesn't exist without her. So she is as much a part of the story occurring onstage as the "First Impressions" characters are.
Me: What has it been like working on the show here in New York?
Lindsay and Amanda: It's been an absolute joy! We have a FANTASTIC creative team, an experienced production team and the cast is absolutely wonderful! We could not have asked for a better experience, and we are both grinning from ear to ear. Our goal is to live every moment fully, and at the same time, we can't wait to get to rehearsal each day.
Me: What are you most looking forward to about NYMF?
Lindsay and Amanda: To see (and hear!) the show come alive, and to have the opportunity for New York audiences and the industry to take a look at what P&P has to offer the world of musical theater.