As many of you know, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley was a joy to work on, and I was justifiably proud of the product. Most of the magazines and family-friendly publications that covered it have been glowing in their reports. Unfortunately, the two major papers in town were not as liberal in their praise. [Everett Evans, why oh why did you retire?] But the patrons won out. Suffice it to say that there was a firestorm on Facebook about the reviews and the very different response of our loyal audience and new patrons brought to MST for the first time. I tried to stay out of it.
The run has been very successful, with sold out previews and a near capacity opening weekend. Subsequently, word-of-mouth was so good that the run quickly began to sell out. So performances were added. This week before Christmas has several additional performances, which sold out almost immediately.
But the best news reached me at the MST Christmas party. Apparently, Rebecca Udden, MST’s Artistic Director tried to come back to see the show mid-run and could not get in, because even the house seats had been sold. It was the feather that finally pushed her to commit to reviving the show next year.
When we close this week-end, Ryan McGettigan’s lovely set will not be demolished. Instead, it will be dismantled and preserved as much as possible so that we can reuse the glorious window unit next year.
The cast is justifiably over-the-moon, as they have been told that they will all be invited to reprise their roles next year. Barring anyone being cast in a Broadway show, I think we will all be working together again in 2018.
It just goes to show you that Jane Austen can even conquer a mediocre review. Perhaps, they will send someone more in touch with the Houston audience next year.