A User-Driven Site for Theater in Atlanta, Georgia
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

a Holiday Comedy
by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

COMPANY : Theatrical Outfit [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Balzer Theatre @ Herren's [WEBSITE]
ID# 5189

SHOWING : November 30, 2017 - December 24, 2017



Southeastern premiere from the writer "Silent Sky."

1815. England. This Christmas, cozy up with your favorite "Pride and Prejudice" characters at Pemberley, the grand estate of newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. Middle daughter Mary Bennet, bookish and often overshadowed by her sisters, blossoms when a curious visitor proves himself an intellectual match, kindred spirit and possibly more. For the first time, Mary must stand tall and become the heroine of her own story. Told with modern wit and period style, this effervescent, comedic sequel to one of the most beloved literary romances of all time will enchant Jane Austen fans and new-comers alike.

Anne de Bourgh Rebecca Galen Crawley
Mary Bennet Amelia Fischer
Arthur de Bourgh Jonathan Horne
Fitzwilliam Darcy Lee Osorio
Elizabeth Darcy Julissa Sabino
Jane Bingley Maria Sager
Charles Bingley Juan Carlos Unzueta
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Tried and Treasure Dissed
by playgoer
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Theatrical Outfit’s "Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley" looks like it takes place in a brand-new, upscale house somewhere in Atlanta. Seamus M. Bourne’s set design has a few neoclassical elements, but none that wouldn’t look at home in a luxurious subdivision. And it all looks brand-new, with nary a sign of age to let us know this is an ancestral country estate. The grounds of Pemberley, so warmly described in "Pride and Prejudice," here are reduced to a large window looking out on a blue scrim.

The main scenic element is a Christmas tree, ostensibly taken from German tradition, but rather blatantly introduced to make this a "Christmas" show to which American audiences will relate. Other elements are doors at either side and a raised library up stage right. It works rather well, although it is a bit jarring that the first scene takes place in a different location, but using the same desk we see when the unchanged set suddenly represents Pemberley. Carolyn Cook has blocked the play to use the full stage to effect, although her scene-setting mute scenes become a bit repetitious in their constant flow of action.

Aside from the elements targeted at a modern American audiences, the show works well as a sequel to "Pride and Prejudice." The language and plot misunderstandings clearly mirror Jane Austen’s style, and characters mesh well with the ones we know from Austen’s novel (although Julissa Sabino makes for a more bubbly and frothy Elizabeth than we might be used to). The romantic complications and resolutions flow smoothly, without the jarring stylistics of Kate Hamill’s "Sense and Sensibility." Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon have created a play that pays tribute to Jane Austen, but also works on its own.

Vocal coach Grant Chapman has ensured that all cast members speak in an appropriately plummy upper-class accent. With Rob Brooksher’s sound design, this is a good-sounding show, with one exception. In the performance I saw, Lee Osorio, as Darcy, at one point used a phrase like "to [name] and I." Grammatically, of course, this is incorrect. It should be "to [name] and me." If Ms. Gunderson and Ms. Melcon wrote it this way, they should be horsewhipped and driven from stages in abject shame. If Mr. Osorio decided to speak it that way (as I suspect), he should go back to the words as written in the script.

All performances work well, aided by the costumes designed by Elizabeth Rasmusson that help to delineate character. We clearly see costume distinctions in the two semi-villainesses of the piece, Lydia (Devon Hales) and Anne de Bourgh (Galen Crawley). Lydia’s first costume is as bright and cheery and rosy as she tries to be, and Anne’s is as sumptuously elegant as her airs imply. The pregnancy of Jane (the sweetly spoken Maria Rodriguez-Sager) is also clearly and stylishly shown in her costumes. Men’s costumes are their equal.

A. Julian Verner’s props impress with their period feel, and Alex Riviere’s lighting design adds atmosphere to the action. This is an elegantly stylish production, and one as brightly burnished as a sparkling Christmas ornament. Ms. Cook has inspired her cast to provide the audience with a lovely ensemble performance.

The main story involves the bookish romance of middle sister Mary (Amelia Fischer) and Arthur de Bourgh (Jonathan Horne). Ms. Fischer gives Mary lots of backbone and spunk, so we are immediately drawn to her. Mr. Horne imbues Arthur with a beautifully tentative approach to life, inhabiting the character completely and captivating the audience with equal skill. Juan Carlos Unzueta adds some comic flair as Charles Bingley, Jane’s husband. The whole production leaves a warm, holiday feel in the hearts of the audience. With the Latinx-heavy cast, though, you almost expect to see Lucy and Ricky Ricardo enter through the doors as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet arriving at Pemberley at the end of the show. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


Woman and Scarecrow
by Marina Carr
Fuddy Meers
by David Lindsay-Abaire
Essence to Crux
King Lear
by William Shakespeare
Gwinnett Classic Theatre
Almost, Maine
by John Cariani
Centerstage North Theatre
Becoming Nancy
by Elliot Davis (book), George Stiles (music), and Anthony Drewe (lyrics)
Alliance Theatre Company
by David Shire (music), Richard Maltby, Jr. (lyrics)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
by Tennessee Williams
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
Daddy Long Legs
by John Caird (book) and Paul Gordon (songs)
The Legacy Theatre
Fuddy Meers
by David Lindsay-Abaire
Essence to Crux
Jest a Second!
by James Sherman
Lionheart Theatre Company
King Lear
by William Shakespeare
Gwinnett Classic Theatre
Mamma Mia!
by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (songs), Catherine Johnson (book)
BK Productions
by Dennis Kelly (book) and Tim Minchin (songs)
Onstage Atlanta, Inc.
Midnight at the Masquerade
by The Murder Mystery Company
The Murder Mystery Company in Atlanta
Our Town
by Thornton Wilder
Theatrical Outfit
The Laramie Project
by Moises Kaufman & the Tectonic Theater Project
Theatrical Outfit

©2012 All rights reserved.