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Paul Gordon's "Emma" at the Old Globe in San Diego 
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Post Paul Gordon's "Emma" at the Old Globe in San Diego
I was fortunate enough to see it twice last week, once while it was still in previews, and then also on its official opening night. It was FANTASTIC. You can see pictures here:
http://broadwayworld.com/article/Photo_ ... e_20110120

The music is just... perfect. Light, funny, sometimes surprising, tender, soaring... all of it felt just so RIGHT in every moment. The musical was a great adaptation of the story- just enough included to get all the important parts in without being bogged down by other details. A lot of the book and many lyrics came straight from the novel, which I appreciated. (why fix it if it isn't broken?) I re-read the novel in anticipation of seeing the show and I can say that the characters are exactly right as well, in style and temperament. My only disappointment on the point of characters was in the casting of Mr. Elton- in the novel he is supposed to be only 26 (or 27?) but in this adaptation is is made older (well, maybe mid-30's) and balding. I understand why it was cast that way, though, that having 3 eligible handsome men on stage might be confusing, and he does do very well with the character. Patti Murin, who plays Emma, was a complete delight. Her energy, youthfulness, and overall portrayal of the character was so endearing.

I'm not sure what the future plans are for this show, but I am hoping that it will be like other shows that have come out of the Old Globe and gone to Broadway. If you have a chance to see it, GO!!!

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:28 am
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Current Obsession: Paul Gordon's new musical, "Emma"
Post Re: Paul Gordon's "Emma" at the Old Globe in San Diego
this review was posted yesterday of the show:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culture ... globe.html

I replied with a very lengthy comment, but it has to be approved by the author before posting. Just in case he does not post my comment, this was my reply:
How can you call an adaptation "not particularly imaginative"? Were they supposed to reinvent the wheel? It's an ADAPTATION. An attempt to bring the novel to life in musical form. I think an acting style that leaned towards Masterpiece Theatre (as you called it) would have been a dull show to watch indeed. Perhaps some of the characterizations were not period correct, but then period correct would not have made for a very entertaining musical theater experience.
You said that the book "offers a shorthand version of the novel, as it must", but the story is in the music. The book may be sparse (although still very true to the novel with many pieces of dialogue coming straight from Jane Austen herself) but the real character and points of interest are found in the songs. Why shouldn't a MUSICAL have the best bits in the MUSIC? So what if Emma introduces herself and catches the audience up on a few tidbits while the set rotates?
I must also disagree with your opinion of the score. I recently posted online to some friends today about the show: "The music is just... perfect. Light, funny, sometimes surprising, tender, soaring... all of it felt just so RIGHT in every moment." I could not have been more surprised at your calling it "utilitarian".
I did not hear any "stale" laughter at the two performances I attended (one in previews, one opening night). Indeed, I was surprised at the heartiness of the laughter coming from the rest of the audience and thought it very genuine. During the opening night performance I tried to remember whether there was that much laughter during the other preview show I attended. The comedic moments were very well placed and not forced at all in my opinion, except perhaps for the SNL-type characterization of Mrs. Elton.
I am curious as to what you expected from Mr. Knightly? I certainly did not interpret Adam Monley's characterization as "passive" or "depressed"; I thought he did an excellent job of highlighting the difference in their dispositions and age without being stuffy or snobby.
I liked the show enough to see it twice while I was visiting a friend in San Diego, and would recommend it to anyone as a very delightful piece of musical theater.

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Tue Jan 25, 2011 2:23 pm
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Post Re: Paul Gordon's "Emma" at the Old Globe in San Diego
Well, Brig, I must say I agree more with your review than his! I think he has been mired in the interpretation of "classic" literature as stolid and ponderous in order to be seriously considered. My impressions of Emma were that it was lively and fun, and captured the same sense of current entertainment Miss Austen's original readers would have felt. And I thought the male leads were far from "depressed"! In all, I found it a charming evening of musical theatre!


Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:46 pm
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Post Re: Paul Gordon's "Emma" at the Old Globe in San Diego
Sorry to double post, but this review of Emma hits much closer to the mark in my opinion: http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011 ... f-an-emma/


Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:19 pm
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Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 10:36 am
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Current Obsession: Paul Gordon's new musical, "Emma"
Post Re: Paul Gordon's "Emma" at the Old Globe in San Diego
According to Paul Gordon's website, Emma is slated to head to Broadway in 2013, with Jeff Calhoun directing (he also directed it in San Diego).

UM.... SO Excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will find a way to be there for opening night!

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Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:46 am
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