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A prideful diversion into Seattle | Home Again

 

October 31, 2019



“Austen’s Pride,” billed as “A New Musical of Pride and Prejudice,” ended a nearly month-long run last weekend at the Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle. On Thursday, I attended a matinee performance with a friend, using tickets gifted by another friend. The musical gave a fresh impression of Jane Austen’s writing of her beloved romantic novel, “Pride and Prejudice,” published in 1813.

Through the years, I’ve enjoyed some great plays, most often from third tier, upper-row seats, and wished that – just for a moment – I could actually see, without binoculars, the faces of the performers and the details of their costumes.

I’m not complaining, as it’s a privilege to attend a professional performance, even viewed from a distance. Once in a while, I’ve sat closer to the action, a delightful experience. I did not know that our tickets for “Austen’s Pride” would be in the front row, far right, with clear views of the stage!

“Austen’s Pride” was imaginative and charming.

The printed programs included inserts noting any changes in cast. The cast changes for the performance we attended were significant. The main character, Jane Austen herself, was played by an understudy, rather than by the actor listed in the program – and she was fabulous, much appreciated by the audience.

The insert noted that the actor playing Austen that afternoon usually played the roles of two other important characters in the play. An understudy for those two roles did an exemplary job, as well, rewarded with great applause.

Worth noting about our matinee experience, my friend and I chose to take a bus to the theater, rather than drive to Seattle, which meant no anxiety about downtown parking or about getting out of the matinee performance just in time to face afternoon rush hour traffic.

We rode on the upper level of double-decker buses both directions – and hurrying up the steps for the ride home scored a front row seat and some breathtaking views, looking right over the top of traffic.

Since attending the “Austen’s Pride” musical, I’ve been reading a history of the times in which Jane Austen lived and wrote. “Jane Austen’s England,” by Roy and Lesley Adkins, husband-and-wife historians and archaeologists, is a detailed social history of English life during the early 19th century.

It’s a fascinating book, intended as a companion to Austen’s novels.

On a different topic, my cat Mocha is aware of the frequent shortage of cat food for families who depend upon the Edmonds Food Bank. Mocha hopes you’ll add an extra bag of cat food to your grocery list to drop off at the Edmonds Food Bank at Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers St., or any other of the food bank’s collection sites.

Because I know many of my readers love cats, I am happy to mention Mocha’s concern. Probably if I had a dog, he’d be asking for donations of dog food, which also are welcome, of course.

I am grateful for Ralph, a faithful food bank volunteer. Every week he packages pet food for distribution to families whose animals bring extra love into their lives, even when times are tough. Thank you, Ralph.

 

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