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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Jane's Journey Part Six

The last of the Broadway Beat transcripts from november, featuring Jane Eyre: The Musical. Here is a short interview with Elizabeth DeGrazia (Blanche Ingram).

Richard Ridge: Where did you start with Jane Eyre? Give me your history.

Elizabeth DeGrazia: In Toronto and I did the production in La Jolla as well, and now I'm here.

Richard Ridge: So, tell me about the character you play.

Elizabeth DeGrazia: She's extremely over the top and flamboyant. She's the aristocratic Scarlet O'Hara. She really is. Shes got a good heart but she's all about wealth and status and really wants to marry this guy. And she comes to Thornfield for a couple of nights and needs an engagement ring- she's a a bit desperate!

Richard Ridge: That's the number we saw you do today.

Elizabeth DeGrazia: Yes, she sings really high and tries to be very, very fabulous. And there's a real parallel between Jane Eyre and Blanche. They have a similar size and look- dark eyes, dark hair but very, very different in character. And you see who wins out in the end!


Anonymous said...

Sorry, Elizabeth, but I don't agree about Blanche 'having a good heart.' I think she has no room in her heart for anyone but herself.

To be sure, she's been put in a difficult situation where she has to marry; she really has no alternative. So she goes after Rochester even though she doesn't love him.

But a good heart? I don't think so.

mysticgypsy said...

hmm if one considers the similarity between Jane Eyre and Blanche, the fact that they are both "trapped" women, and the fact that Jane only "paints" that picture of Blanche, perhaps Blanche could have a kinder disposition than what she is credited with. She could as well be a dreadful character..but because we only know so much of her, I think it is possible she could have other shades that we are not told about in the novel..

Brontëana said...

I agree completely, however I think she has a loop hole in that this is not the same Blanche Ingram from the novel. Clearly Blanche and Jane look nothing alike in the book, yet it is true that in the musical they are similar physically. It follows she might also have a better character than we supposed.

Early versions of the show follow the book more closely. In a performance at the Royal Alex Blanche has some very cruel remarks about Jane and Adele. Jane is 'totally incompetent' and while the men are out hunting she suggests they 'shoot everything, including the French poodle.'

Getting Blanche right is crutial, because in many ways she reflects on Bertha. As they softened Bertha's image they did the same with Blanche.

Brontëana said...

to mysticgypsy:

That's also true. However, she does display a deal of cruelty to several of the other characters. This cruelty seems to come from her pride, not perhaps a feeling of frustration.