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The Woman in White the Play (perhaps we are too attached)

Some facts.

ONE. There was a theatrical production of The Woman in White in Rogers Park yesterday afternoon.

TWO. Due to the lameness of my friends, I saw this alone, braving -- yes! braving -- the indignity of solo theatrical attendance COUPLED, I might add, with the fact that this was obviously the perfect opportunity to wear my Wilkie Readalong shirt, which is maybe the dorkiest shirt I own (and I own a Nathaniel Hawthorne shirt purchased at the House of the Seven Gables).

Buy yours today!

TWO. More correctly, I saw half of this play.

THREE. At least one of the characters was so grossly misrepresented, I could not stay. Also I had to get groceries. But more the other thing.

When a book is as derangedly loved as Woman in White is by the Wilkie Collins readalong group, it is a danger to see any adaptation. Because certain things will not tally with how one's brain sees them. And I know that. I do. And I knew it going in.

But MR. FAIRLIE, PEOPLE. Theatrical license/character interpretation, yes yes, but if you're doing literary adaptations, you can't make one character A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT CHARACTER. Mr. Fairlie is a 45 to 50-year-old man who cannot stand noise and is peevish and terrible and basically the greatest thing since Fosco. The Mr. Fairlie of this production, for some bewildering reason, rasped and growled and barked and thundered and I GLARED, because that is not Mr. Fairlie. That is an imposter who has killed the real Mr. Fairlie and stuffed him among the cushions.

The attempted accents were distracting, but that's fine. Fosco was good enough. Sir Percival was good enough. Mrs. Catherick showed promise, but I left before "My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody." I really do like this theatre. It is TINY and they only do literary adaptations, and that's awesome. But I'm thoroughly disappointed that the director and/or the actor so completely disregarded what the book said about a character.

At least there was this

No actress should be compared to Marian. No one anywhere should be compared to Marian. It is unfair. You might as well compare a person to -- dare I say? A sunbeam, a whirling snowflake caught in a tumultuous updraft, or a sparkling comet up in the firmament shooting past our swiftly turning sphere. Some defy comparison, my friends. Marian Halcombe is one of these.


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