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Final weekend: Jane Austen’s school of pop

Posted on March 14, 2017 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Now running. Jane Austen, the author of “Emma,” described her heroine as “handsome, clever, and rich.” She’s a bit of a meddler as well, thinking herself the expert matchmaker of her small English village. The character, Austin admitted, is one “whom no one but myself will much like.” As it turns out, Emma Woodhouse, and the highly-praised novel – Austen’s best, many say – has been beloved for 200 years.

With “Emma! A Pop Musical” — March 16-19 at Andrews Hall — the heroine is not only transplanted into the modern world, she’s put to music. The musical features the hit songs of legendary girl groups and female singers from The Supremes to Katy Perry.

Emma is now a senior at Highbury Prep and of course knows what’s best for her classmates’ love lives. As with her 1815 counterpart, her scheming may come at a price, albeit one with a backbeat. Will she find harmony, or stay solo?

The Sonoma Arts Live production, written by Eric Price, closes this weekend.

The high-energy show is directed by Libby Oberlin, the company’s education director. “Libby turns her actors’ performances into star turns,” said SAL Artistic Director Jaime Love. “If you’ve seen our teens in ‘Carrie: The Musical,’ or ‘The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,’ you know shows in our Teens ’N Training program are fabulous.”

“Emma! A Pop Musical.” Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Andrews Hall, 276 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 866-710-8942.




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