By ERIKA SASSEVILLE
It’s every Jane Austen fan’s favorite time of year! The Bennets, Bingleys, Darcys, and Wickhams (well, one of them anyway) are finally back at the Jungle Theater in Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley playing now through December 23rd. Based on the characters from Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, the Christmas at Pemberley trilogy continues right where we left off in Miss Bennet and The Wickhams with Lizzie (Sun Mee Chomet) and Mr. Darcy (James Rodriguez) hosting their sisters for the holiday two years after their marriage in the novel. Without giving too much away from the previous installments, in Georgiana & Kitty, we find Georgiana (Darcy’s younger sister, played by Marisa B. Tejeda) and Kitty (Lizzie’s remaining single sister, played by Becca Hart) best friends and brilliant young women ready to take on the world. For Georgiana that means introducing her brother to the man she’s been corresponding with for the better part of a year, Henry Grey (Dustin Bronson) shares Georgiana’s love of music and hopes for the future. Kitty is determined to help her best friend successfully win over her paramour as well as her brother, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have time to get to know Henry’s amiable friend Thomas O’Brien (Tom Reed). As can be expected, everything does not go entirely as planned, but in the end you can count on a happier ever after for the two highly empowered women.
Having seen all three of the Christmas at Pemberley plays at the Jungle Theater, it’s safe to say that this newest installment is a most welcome addition to the canon. Co-Directed by Jungle Artistic Director and previous Christmas at Pemberley director, Christina Baldwin and Angela Timberman, this production is filled with all the sibling shenanigans, spot-on comedic timing, and adorable romances that we’ve come to expect and love from these performances. PLUS: another adorable pup, Mugs the Pug! The cast does an absolutely incredible job, bringing the boisterous Bennet sisters to life with all the joy and bickering that comes with it. The men in their lives are equally delightful, Bronson’s gift for physical comedy and Reed’s cheery wit are the perfect additions to the family.
From top to bottom, Georgiana & Kitty is warm, inviting, and familiar. The scenic and costume design by Sarah Bahr is beautiful and cozy. Every detail is lovingly precise, from the matching color palettes of each couple, to the snow softly falling out the window. The lighting (Marcus Dillard), sound (C Andrew Mayer), and prop (John Novak) design add to the warm cozy feeling of Pemberley and Georgiana’s London home.
Whether or not you are a fan of Austen’s beloved source novel, Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley will entertain and delight you. From the pitch-perfect comedy to the aww-inducing love story, this production is a “can’t-miss” for the holiday season. Here’s hoping that the tradition of Christmas at Pemberley will continue for years to come.
Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas at Pemberley, directed by Christina Baldwin and Angela Timberman, is on stage through December 23 at the Jungle, located in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis, 2951 Lyndale Ave. S. Tickets are on sale at www.jungletheater.org.