Reviewer: Howard Steven Frydman aka “The Howard”
Production: Jane Eyre
Theater: The Hartford Stage
Playwright: Elizabeth Williamson
Director: Elizabeth Williamson
The Howard’s Exhale – “A timeless classic – a masterpiece of a journey”
It’s poignant, it’s courageous, it’s mysterious, it’s tragic, it’s Gothic, it’s bold, it’s Brontë – Charlotte Brontë . The Hartford Stage presents a new adaptation of Brontë’s Victorian novel Jane Eyre, adapted for the stage and directed by Hartford Stage Associate Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson, and starring as the iconic strong-willed heroine “Jane Eyre”, Helen Sadler, with Chandler Williams portraying the rugged and aloof Mr. Edward Rochester – master of Thornfield Hall.
Productions come and go- but I love those productions that have you with head in hand – attention fully a-gazed at the stage, and straining not to miss one single syllable of the delectable dialogue emanating from the live characters and their various on stage portrayals – “Jane Eyre” fills this criteria – and I so happily deem this glorious mounted production as everything that one would expect when visiting Connecticut’s most prestigious house of theater, “The Hartford Stage”, star performances, a memorable production and quality that strikes one with appreciated intensity.
As in the novel, the production is presented in the “first person” as “Jane” somberly chronicles her memorable story to the audience “Dear Reader” – describing her life story from being orphaned as a child, and when of age taking a position as governess at Thornfield Hall for the troubled and mysterious Edward Rochester. The strong-willed and ever passionate Jane soon falls in love with her enigmatic employer, but the discovery of a dark secret and its devastating aftermath forces the young governess to make a heart-wrenching decision that changes their lives forever.
As they say, “A GOOD CAST IS WORTH REPEATING..” – but “Jane Eyre” with a cast of 8, each portraying several characters is an event that I humbly state is not to be missed and give my heartfelt kudus to the following actors – including: Marie-France Arcilla as Blanche, Bessie and Grace Poole; Grayson DeJesus as Mason, St. John Rivers and John Reed; Megan Gwyn as Diana Rivers and Leah; Felicity Jones Latta as Mrs. Reed, Mrs. Fairfax, and Bertha; Meghan Pratt as Adèle and Young Jane; and Steve Routman as the Priest, John, and the Doctor.
Jane Eyre’s creative team includes Scenic Designer Nick Vaughan, Costume Designer Ilona Somogyi, Lighting Designer Isabella Byrd, Sound Designer Matt Hubbs, Composer Christian Frederickson, Dialect Coach Claudia Hill-Sparks, Dramaturg Fiona Kyle, and Fight Choreographer Greg Webster.
Tickets for the Hartford Stage production of “Jane Eyre” are on sale now and can be purchased by calling (860) 527-5151 or by visiting http://www.hartfordstage.org. Weeknight and evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances are Saturdays, Sundays and select weekdays at 2 p.m.
Howard Steven Frydman is General Manager and Executive Director of BATV – Channels 5, 95 & 96 and a member of the CCC. Please feel free to contact Mr. Frydman with your thoughts and ideas at TheHoward24@gmail.com