Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

January 17, 2006

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Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 6:12 pm

Jane’s Journey Part Five

Nearing the end of transcribing the November 2000 episode of Broadway Beat featuring Jane Eyre the Musical, we have an interview with Mary Stout (Mrs Fairfax):

Mary Stout: I believed in this from the moment I did it at the Manhattan Theater Club reading. I love what it says, I love how it uplifts people. And I think it’s going to be something people remember for a long time. It’s a theatre experience where people get to experience emotions on many levels, on many levels. And I think it’s going to be uplifting to people. You know, it’s a dark story. And that’s a given. She has a lot of things to deal with but hopefully I’ll provide some of the comedy and some of the lighter moments.

You know, this character that I play- the housekeeper- she’s written fairly… she’s not a dark character in the book although she does have a darker edge to her because you never really know what she knows is going on in the house. That’s a question I have personally answered. But everyone always wonders about this. Is she involved in some way? Is she a part of this? Home much does she know? And they took this character and made her a little more comedic than the book does and made her sort of a Gilbert and Sullivan sort of character which I think is such a brilliant idea- to give her patter songs that move the score along and have some brightness and some comedy. And it’s so great that they’ve allowed that to happen. I think there are other shows that do that too- I think The Full Monty has a character that does the same sort of thing. Sometimes stories and shows need that to lift them up. And he’s been incredibly very true to the book in so many ways; very few changes.

Richard Ridge: Tell me about the number that we saw you do today.

Mary Stout: It’s called ‘A Slip of a Girl’ and it takes place after… after the proposal scene- I don’t want to give away too much. After the proposal- and, obviously, she’s accepted, then suddenly there”s a big storm that happens which I think will be very visually exciting I think. Then out of the blue I come out with little Adele- the little ward, and proclaim my problems with the whole situation.

I’m quoting someone. When we were in that city outside this country [Toronto] we’re not supposed to mention that but when we were there, Terrence McNally came to see the show and he’s actually seen the show several times but when he saw the show in that city he said it’s the perfect song because it takes you through an entire story and you get to see a character really turn a corner and make a realization. And he said it’s the perfect song and I thought it is! It really is a lvoely, lovely little piece to character ladies everywhere. I’m very proud to be playing this character.

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