If I ever get famous and the E! channel was making some weird photo package about what I was like “before I was big” there will be a grainy video of me playing Elizabeth Bennet in Pride & Prejudice at theater camp when I was 15. My hair will look awesome, It was the height of my theatrical career. But the adaptation was ridiculous, it got rid of 2 of the sisters, and was really long.
So when I started getting ads on Goldstar for discount tickets to Lifeline theater’s production of the Austen classic, I was skeptical. But I love all things Austen so much that I decided to go.
And it was AWESOME. It was a completely new adaptation by Christine Calvit, which really got the humor of the novel across. She had Elizabeth (played by the delightful Laura McClain) break the fourth wall and give her running commentary to audience (at one point even hiding from Mr. Collins up in the seats) which at first I thought was going to feel weird and forced, but it was actually a great way of pulling the audience into the small-town feel. The small theater also really helped with conveying the claustrophobia of Lizzy’s life, everyone on-stage was right on top of each other, so the ridiculousness of the Bennet family couldn’t be lost on anyone.
It was a really fun night. If you’re in Chicago and like Jane Austen at all I would totally recommend it.
The Lifeline Theater is located at 6912 N. Glenwood Ave. The show is running through June 10th