Jane Eyre: The Musical

In 2000, my mom and I saw Jane Eyre: The Musical on Broadway. Our seats were in the front row, just behind the orchestra pit. If I looked down, I could see the musicians working, just below my feet. When I looked up at the stage, the actors were righthere. Exhilarating!

The lyrics for the songs pick up turns of phrase from the novel so I literally watched the book come to life, and the orchestrations are lush and gorgeous. Edward Rochester and Jane have two duets at key points in the plot that bring the house down. It’s dramatic and beautiful and just…. [sigh].

It closed in June 2001 before I could get back to NY to see it again – and there’s no performance DVD to be found anywhere. There are a few somewhat crappy clips on YouTube, but all I really have of the show is the soundtrack and my memories of what it was like to be there, with the music swirling all around me and Jane on stage in front of me. I remember a particular moment when I looked at my mom and tears streamed down both of our cheeks because it was so joyful and overwhelming.

I just learned that the Masquerade Theater in Houston is putting on a production of a newly revised version of the musical. There’s only one date during the run that works with my schedule – this Sunday! I bought myself a totally kickass ticket, and on Sunday afternoon at 2:00, I’ll be watching the curtain go up.

I might be singing along to the soundtrack very loudly in my kitchen right now.

Jane Eyre on BBC Radio

My favorite first line of a novel... There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. And so begins Jane Eyre, the book that...

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Jane Eyre… In Slovenian

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  • Melissa says:

    I'm totally tickled by your love for Jane Eyre, but I know I would be similarly psyched if one of my all-time favorite books was set to music. It would be AMAZING!

    Have you ever read Wide Sargasso Sea? It was written as a prequel to Jane Eyre. One of my favorites from college lit classes.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Melissa! I've tried twice to read Wide Sargasso Sea, and it never 'takes.' Same problem with Wuthering Heights and Villette. Looks like my only Bronte connection is Jane.

    I keep thinking if I try reading those books again, they might work — I think we 'hear' different books at different times, depending on where we are in our lives (and some are always perfect… Jane Eyre, Picture of Dorian Gray). But no dice yet on Wide Sargasso Sea.