"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

In love with Jane Austen, tis the season

In love with Suzie, and Jane Austen, at Reduxion
As  a repentant English major, I admit I should know more about Jane Austin than two or three titles, and I met her last night at Reduxion Theatre's joyful holiday production, Jane Austen's Christmas Cracker, and interactive ball.
No, I've never read Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. My English major tastes were more masculine--everything by Joseph Conrad and anything by Whitman, with a little Kafka thrown in. And, I'm currently re-reading Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, in a copy I bought in Paris 10 years ago, in the famed bookstore Shakespeare and Company.
The program
But I sort of fell in love with Jane last night, with the characters, the songs and music, the dancing and production. All the elegantly dressed young women with rosy cheeks and complexions and smiles, the stylishly dressed men.
I consider Reduxion Theatre one of Oklahoma City's unique treasures. Billed as "theatre in your lap," actors regularly interact with the audience in the theatre in the round. Suzie and I always sit on the front row. "Revisit the classics," is the other slogan, and the theatre puts on everything from Shakespeare to Tom Jones to Sweeny Todd, and yes, Jane Austen. Check their website for a complete list. We don't go to a lot of movies, but the money for season tickets here is always a thrill and experience.
I went expecting to join in the dancing, but was intimidated by the youth and energy as the cast invited various audience members up on stage and performed graceful English Country Dancing numbers of Jane Austen's day throughout the show. You should have seen the joy on the faces of the audience members dancing--complete happiness and having a good time. Real Christmas spirit the way it is supposed to be. It was a Christmas party, with egg nog, sweet treats and ice cream provided by Braum's. The cast mingled with the crowd during the break, staying in character and English accent, asking questions, laughing. Yep, in love with Jane Austen.
Reduxion Theatre.

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