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Stella A Griffin

 Theater Educator/ Director

 

 

 

 Brethren Christian

Junior & Senior High School, located in southeast Huntington Beach, CA.,

has provided academically

excellent, Christ-centered

education for 60 years.

Visit us at www.bchs.net

Reviews of Jane Eyre

Review: Jane Eyre: A Musical Drama

Pacifica student reviews Brethren Christian production.

By MEGAN PETKOVIC

For THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

In a dark and lonely manor with eerie laughter floating through its halls, an unconventional love affair begins to bloom in Brethren Christian's dynamic production of "Jane Eyre: A Musical Drama."

Based on the classic novel by Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre" follows the life of a young woman who conquers her adversarial circumstances to ultimately find love and acceptance. When Jane, a poor orphan with a blunt tongue and an iron will, falls in love with the mysterious Mr. Rochester, they must fight societal conventions and the secrets of Rochester's past to prove themselves "brave enough for love."

Kelsey Coleman and Patrick Quinn bring comic relief to the somber drama as Mrs. Fairfax and Robert, respectively. Coleman's wild gestures and loud, incongruous retorts upon first meeting Jane immediately establish the bubbly and lovably deaf nature of her role, while Quinn's irritated expressions and biting remarks show his character's disgruntled attitude toward his servile position.

Taylor Lardas is both captivating and fearsome as Bertha, the mad wife of Rochester. Her inane singing, frenzied pacing and wild appearance make her performance hauntingly bestial. In contrast to her untamed nature is the stolid and unmovable disposition of Grace Poole, played by Amanda Martin. Martin's drunken stagger and glowering looks legitimize Jane's nervous interactions with her character.

Nicole Braun rises to the challenge of capturing the complicated role of Jane Eyre. When around the other more dynamic and vivacious characters, her stiff posture and blank expression establish a quiet stage presence that accentuates Jane's silently resolved nature. In her solitary moments on stage, however, a new persona shines out. Her subtly passionate tones and anguished expression establish the caged emotions of her character.

Equally as expressive is Ryan Stong as the enigmatic Edward Rochester. His powerful, impassioned voice and brooding looks demonstrate a fiery yet self-contained demeanor that supplements the conflicted emotions of his role. In "The Gypsy," he proves to be as skillful at capturing comedic situations as he is at capturing the many dramatic moments of the show. Throughout the performance, both Braun and Stong consistently exhibit a very real and effective romance in their emotional duets on stage.

In the end, the show successfully transports the audience into the alluring world of Charlotte Bronte. With realistic characters and emotional songs, the cast of Brethren Christian's "Jane Eyre: a Musical Drama" powerfully captures a story that shows that everyone has a "hope of heaven."

Megan Petkovic attends Pacifica High School.

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