|"below stairs" at Pemberley (photo by Molly Weibel)|
|sisters Lydia (Grace Klapak) and Lizzie (Eva Gemlo)|
(photo by Molly Weibel)
|Lydia (Grace Klapak) and her "dear Wickham" (Felipe Escudero)|
(with Michael Quadrozzi and Nadia Franzen, photo by Molly Weibel)
The play includes music, with an unnamed and uncredited fiddler wandering through scenes and providing music in between scenes, occasionally joined by Eva Gemlo on cello. The entire cast joins in on a rousing singalong of traditional carols sung in a modern way, both post intermission and at the end of the play. The latter works better; it's a little jarring to see the family laughing and singing with Wickham just after his dramatic and traumatic reveal at the end of Act I. But the songs are fun and festive, with Nadia Franzen (Cassie) also playing the role of Music Director.
As I've written in the past, I want to return to the world of Christmas at Pemberley every year. I want to live inside this world, with its smart and witty dialogue, charming accents, beautiful gowns, sweet love stories, and strong female characters who support each other. It's the best of Jane Austen and the best of modern female-centered storytelling. Thanks to Lyric Arts for inviting us back to Pemberley once again. Here's hoping they continue the tradition for years to come.
See The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley at Lyric Arts in Anoka through December 22. And for more Jane Austen, check out All About Jane: The Eras of Austen at Hive Collaborative (in the space formerly known as Dreamland Arts) - a song cycle featuring Jane Austen's heroines.
*Read about all of the holiday shows I've seen this year here, and listen to the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers' holiday preview episode of our podcast Twin Cities Theater Chat here.