I’ve seen a lot of musical theatre, but I don’t think I’ve ever said, “wow” as many times as I did throughout Blue Valley North’s production of “Jane Eyre”. Over the course of two hours, this cast of high school students told the story of a young woman who faces trial after trial and through the course of the show, finds love. I was expecting a good show, but I wasn’t expecting something as extraordinary as what I saw tonight.
There was not a weak link in this cast. There was never one moment when I was cringing in my seat at a slip up or pitchy note. Each cast member was confident in their role, and therefore, every role was made important. From the school girls to Jane Eyre herself, each actor brought an emotion to their role that is a rare occurrence to see at a high school level. The ensemble worked as one unit to move the story along smoothly and professionally, leaving no dull moments in the show.
Along with the actors, the lighting, sets and music were absolutely fantastic. Lighting is extremely important, and I feel as though every lighting choice was beautifully chosen and executed perfectly. The sets were on and off quickly and professionally due to the efficiency of the cast and crew, not causing any delays or accidents. The design complemented the actors well and was the perfect fit for the production. The orchestra, consisting of Julie Danielson, Sean McCray, Kristen Xu and Vaugh Gessley, was gorgeous. Always on cue, this pit knew what they were doing, and they did a marvelous job.
I want to pay special notice to Elie Laville and Lexi Pudvan. Laville is the model leading man, bringing such intense emotion and a driving force every time he steps on stage. Playing the demanding Edward Fairfax Rochester, Laville’s acting and singing keeps the audience mesmerized, whether he is shouting at his horse or pretending to be a gypsy woman. Pudvan, playing the title lead, is nothing less than phenomenal. Right from the get-go, she has the audience hooked, telling us her life story. With her amazing vocals and wonderful stage presence, Pudvan brings a certain kind of purity to her character that is often lost throughout the course of musical theatre.
I could not of thought of a better way to spend an evening. If you have the opportunity to see this show, take it. You will regret not getting to experience this amazing work of art. To the cast and crew, bravo. I thoroughly enjoyed all your hard work, and I wish you the very best as you close Friday night.
Charlotte Brontë would have been very pleased.
Until next time,