Here is the press release about this version as we received it from director and librettist Kathleen Recchia:
KEENE VALLEY, NY—This year marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice” so what could be more appropriate than the production of a new musical adapted from her classic novel.
Kathleen Recchia of Jay (who has portrayed poet Emily Dickinson throughout the North Country) has been working on this musical for about six years but it wasn’t until the subject matter captured the interest of her musician-son Sam that the project zoomed into high gear and became a reality. Ms. Recchia has written all the lyrics and some of the melodies, but, as she says, “I’m just a plunker. I’ve never taken any music theory course and don’t follow any musical rules. So I needed someone (in this case, my son) to make music out of all this.”
Other musicians have offered guidance, tips and some sort of framework along the way, but it is recent Keene Central School graduate, Sam Balzac, who has put it all together including overture, scene change music, and orchestration.
The play will be produced through the Book & Blanket Players Youth Theatre sponsored by East Branch Friends of the Arts. It will be performed on Sat., August 10 at 7 PM and Sun., August 11 at 3 PM, following a week-long intensive theatre workshop at Keene Central School in Keene Valley.
Recchia has directed these Iron-Man (put-it-together-in-a-week) musicals with the kids before including an original musical that she and her son wrote called “Road to Dannemora.” But she is concerned that this year will be even more challenging. She says, “I’ve left much of Jane Austen’s language intact because I love it so. But it will be like teaching the kids Shakespeare. ”
Can it be done in just a week? She answers, “Folks will have to come and see for themselves. I’m optimistic that the kids will pull it off. Many of them are Jane Austen devotees, including our 10-year-old Mr. Bennet who has seen every screen adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” that has been produced and who has very strong feelings about his likes and dislikes.”
The performances are free but donations will be accepted to help defray costs.
For reservations or to learn more about the musical “Pride and Prejudice,” call 518-946-8323 and check out the Facebook page: Book & Blanket Players.