Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Deseret News reviews the production of Jane Eyre the Musical at Hale Center Theater Orem.
Fans of Charlotte Brontë’s novel by the same name may notice some plot points have been severely altered or removed entirely, but the key elements are there. However, the addition of songs and music to the story change some of its inherent qualities: the overall mood, for one, but also the sense of Jane’s introspectiveness, as she boldly addresses the audience and frequently sings about her feelings.
Regardless of how one feels about the differences from the source material, the performances and staging of this production are simply wonderful.
Elizabeth Dabczynski-Bean, who brings Jane to life in alternating performances (this review features actors of the Monday/Wednesday/Friday cast), delivered a strong performance with a powerful stage presence, nuanced facial expressions and a beautiful voice.
Playing opposite her as Edward Fairfax Rochester is Dallyn Vail Bayles, a member of the Actors’ Equity Association (he performs in the role each night except Tuesdays). Bayles skillfully depicted the many attitudes of his character — commanding yet loving, brooding then playful — his delivery of the Gypsy scene is a highlight — and his voice perfectly complemented that of Dabczynski-Bean.
Emily McKell as Young Jane demonstrated poise as she showed the early formation of Jane’s character, learning at the hands of Ali Fisher’s sweet and ill-fated Helen Burns, whose rendition of “Forgiveness/Willing to Be Brave” was stirring.
Though some of her rapid-fire lines came out a little muddled, Melany M. Wilkins provided dollops of comedy relief in her turn as Mrs. Fairfax, and also adding to the humor was Alicia Pann as a surprisingly silly Blanche Ingram — Jane’s rival in love, who seems much less formidable following her fluting performance of “Finer Things.” [...]
HCTO’s small stage makes a cozy home for the production with audience members sitting on three sides. Gorgeous background images projected onto the remaining wall work wonders to set the scenes as well as the mood. Lighting and a smoke machine are likewise used effectively to create different locales, including a church and a room in flames.
Whether one is a fan of Brontë’s work or not, HCTO’s thoughtful and haunting production of “Jane Eyre,” with its breathtaking music and memorable performances, is eminently worthwhile. (Rachel Brutsch)
And The Guardian looks forward to some of the forthcoming dance shows in the UK.
Northern Ballet: Jane Eyre
Cathy Marston’s new ballet promises to extract the radical and romantic heart from the Charlotte Brontë classic. With a nicely feminist twist, Philip Feeney has also incorporated music by the 19th-century composer Fanny Mendelssohn into his own newly commissioned score.
•19 to 21 May, Cast, Doncaster. Then touring. (Judith Mackrell)
Fine Books Magazine recommends Deborah Lutz's The Brontë Cabinet.
Whole libraries could easily be filled with the books devoted to studying the lives and legacy of the Brontës, and Deborah Lutz makes a compelling addition to the canon of literary criticism. In The Brontë Cabinet, the Long Island University professor examines nine artifacts from the Haworth home where Charlotte, Emily, and Anne lived and wrote. “Even ordinary objects can carry us to other times and places,” Lutz declares, describing the deep spiritual meaning Victorians imbued into everyday objects, which they believed to recall the essence and physical presence of their owners. Studying the materiality of authors has become something of a trend in literary criticism, and Lutz does not disappoint, examining household objects to trace the Brontë sisters’ lives and their literary inspirations. By unearthing playthings, books and momentos, Lutz creates a vivid portrait of the Brontë sisters and 19th century England. (Barbara Basbanes Richter)
Page Six mentions the fact that you can see Brontë-related articles at New York's Public Library.
Where else can you see Charlotte Brontë’s desk and read George Washington’s handwritten recipe for homemade beer? (Cindy Adams)
La Nota Latina features Rita Maria Martinez.
–¿Cuál es tu historia personal con respecto a la obra de Charlotte Brontë? –Me enamoré de la novela clásica de Brontë, Jane Eyre, cuando era una adolescente. Fue parte de las lecturas asignadas en una clase de literatura británica. La maestra, una educadora comprometida con su profesión, sentía una gran pasión por aquella obra. No pude parar de leer el libro y desde entonces, he sido una fanática de la escritura de Brontë. [...]
–¿Qué te motivó a crear una obra inspirada en la novela de Brontë, Jane Eyre?–Este año celebramos el bicentenario del nacimiento de Charlotte Brontë, una autora cuyo trabajo ha influido varias generaciones de escritoras. Jane Eyre nos habla aun hoy en día, porque su protagonista es un personaje que lleva las de perder, una mujer para quien la moral y la pasión son igual de importantes; alguien con agallas. El libro también trata otros temas importantes, tal como el de las enfermedades mentales.
–¿Cómo se pueden relacionar los lectores hispanos con tu colección de poemas The Jane and Bertha in Me?– El poema que da inicio a la obra, tiene como escenario el jardín de la casa de mi padre en Miami. Ahí es donde yo leía, debajo de los árboles de plátano que mi padre cultivaba con cariño; un Jardín del Edén personal, creado para mitigar las pérdidas asociadas con el exilio. Mis poemas hablan tanto de la pérdida como de la creación; ambas forman parte de nuestras vidas.
–¿Piensas que los lectores hispanos pueden verse reflejados en la obra de Charlotte Brontë?– En un momento de la historia, Jane se encuentra sin techo y sin dinero. Muchos latinos en los Estados Unidos, provienen de familias inmigrantes que enfrentan problemas económicos. Hay otros que son indocumentados y deben lidiar con problemas aún más graves. La determinación de Jane por salir adelante, toca un punto sensible en este aspecto.
–Cuéntanos cómo se puede adquirir tu libro y conocer más sobre tu trabajo.– Copias autografiadas y personalizadas de The Jane and Bertha in Me se encuentran disponibles en mi página web www.comeonhome.org.ritamartinez. ¡Sería un buen regalo para el Día de la Madre! Allí pueden leer extractos de mis poemas y artículos sobre Charlotte Brontë.  The Jane and Bertha in Me también se puede adquirir en Amazon. Los lectores me pueden encontrar en Facebook y Goodreads. (Melanie Márquez Adams) (Translation)
The Huffington Post interviews writer Lynn Rosen.
The writing style of A Man of Genius is reminiscent of Daphne Du Maurier and Emily Bronte, with its evocative literary quality. Talk about your writing style and literary influences. My writing style is simply the voice in my head. I write down what that voice tells me. I’m very interested in Gothic literature for its sublime elements and psychology. For me, the creative and performing arts involve transcendence beyond the moment. Gothic literature pushes you toward that state. I’m engrossed by the question of how we access art and process our feelings about it, and that informs my writing. I admire Du Maurier, but I don’t write the way I do in a purposeful way. It’s simply a result of how I think.
As for my literary influences, I’m an enormous admirer of Laurence Stern and Tristram Shandy. The plot manipulations in that novel are mind-blowing. (Mark Rubinstein)
Marie Claire has a Q & A with Chelsea Handler, who doesn't seem to be much of a Brontëite.
17. Book that left a lasting impression on me: Wuthering Heights. It just went on and on and on and on and reminded me to wrap it up.
Bustle discusses why female friendships are so important in contemporary literature.
Friends are the first people we love outside our families or family networks – the first we find and choose for ourselves and as such exceptionally important, especially to those like the orphan Jane Eyre whose families have failed them. How cruel is the death from typhus of pious, brilliant Helen Burns, Jane’s one friend? When I first read it, it cast a shadow over me for days. (Lucie Whitehouse)
While The Christian Science Monitor looks at mothers in literature.
In classic literature, good mothers are few and far between. Early novels centered on young women in search of marriage whose mothers were absent or inadequate, like the orphaned Jane Eyre or hysterical Mrs. Bennet of "Pride and Prejudice." (Elizabeth Toohey)
Examiner comments on JMW Turner's appearance on 20 pound bank notes and thinks that,
Yet there’s Turner on the bank note the picture of an English gentleman, the chivalrous sort you see in Victorian literature like Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre(Joan Altabe)
The Brontë Sisters shows pictures of the state of Anne Brontë's gravestone. It truly saddens us to see the crumbling lettering and, despite the plaque on the ground, we do believe that sooner or later the decision to let the gravestone crumble away will be regretted.

Open Letters Monthly reviews Reader, I Married Him, edited by Tracy Chevalier. Books as food posts about Claire Harman's Charlotte Brontë biography.


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