Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009

A First Look at the cast of the Rep’s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

By Russ Bickerstaff
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Every now and again, I’ll write something for blog or print that’s almost exclusively for my wife. Usually it’s a stray sentence or two, but this whole entry is written with her in mind. She’s a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice. Yesterday the Milwaukee Rep announced the cast and crew for its upcoming production of a stage version of the Jane Austen novel. Owing to the fact that there are probably more than a few other women out there who might be interested in finding out a little bit about the cast of the production, I’ll mention some of the big ones here.

Mr. Darcy—My wife is particularly fond of Colin Firth in the role. She was hoping the Rep production would feature Gerard Neugent. I told her that there was probably a good chance that the Rep would go with an Equity actor from outside the city somewhere. I was right. (Neugent has been cast as Mr. Charles Bingley.) They have chosen  Grant Goodman for the role. The actor is making his Rep debut as the romantic male lead here. The Rep hasn’t posted his mini bio on its site yet, but unless there’s another stage actor with the name, the Rep’s Mr. Darcy will look a little something like this:



If the above actor is the RIGHT Grant Goodman, then he’s been very busy (although, evidently not busy enough to have much of a presence on the internet. In addition to appearing in stages all over the country, the Equity Actor in question has appeared in episodes of As The World Turns and Sex In The City.



Elizabeth Bennet—I would’ve liked to see Cristina Panfilio in the role, but the Rep went with someone new to the Quadracci here as well Also making her debut, Lee Stark will be starring in the female lead as Elizabeth Bennet. The Rep hasn’t announced a bio here, but it’s probably pretty safe to guess that the Lee Stark in question is a Chicago-based actress who only a couple of years ago graduated from Northwestern. She has appeared at Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and a number of other places.

Much of the rest of the cast looks familiar. Notables include Eva Balistreri as “Kitty” Bennet, Emily Vitrano as Lydia Bennet and Jacque Troy as Mrs. Lady Lucas. Rep resident Actors Jonathan Gillard Daly and Laura Gordon play Elizabeth’s parents.  Rose Pickering plays Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Peter Silbert plays Mr. Gardiner and Brian Vaughn plays Reverend William Collins.

There will be more about the production as it approaches. My wife wouldn’t let me mention it just once . . .

The Rep’s production of Pride And Prejudice runs March 6 – 29, with previews on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of March.

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