As soothing as a hot cup of Earl Grey, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley imagines a post-“Pride and Prejudice” scenario in which heroine Elizabeth Bennet, now married to her beloved Mr. Darcy, is hosting family and friends for Christmas at her family estate in Pemberley. Chief among the guests is young sister Mary (Nadia Guevara), who is beautiful but bookish and seemingly uninterested in romance. That doesn’t last for long in this charming if sedate play written by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Mary soon encounters a candidate for romance (Carter Piggee) who is as awkward as she but just as infatuated.
New Village Arts’ production directed by Kristianne Kurner (who also designed a magnificent set) relies on the script’s refined, drawing-room conversation, its quaint British-isms and featherweight romantic conflicts over which Jane Austen devotees swoon. It’s all very pretty and proper, with whatever edge it possesses provided by the talented Guevara.
(Review originally published in San Diego CityBeat on 11/18/18.)
David L. Coddon is theater critic for San Diego CityBeat