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World Premiere 'Emma' Steps into TheatreWorks 8/22


TheatreWorks, the nationally-acclaimed theatre of Silicon Valley, hits a milestone when the company presents its 50th World Premiere this summer, Emma, from Tony-nominated composer Paul Gordon.  Previews begin August 22, opening Sunday August 25 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.

"Bringing one of literature's most delightful heroines to sparkling life, this effervescent musical based on the classic novel by Jane Austen was developed at TheatreWorks in 2006 as part of the New Works Initiative," describe press notes, "Nineteenth century ingénue Emma Woodhouse prides herself on her matchmaking skills; having engineered one successful marriage, she turns her attention towards making a match for her new protégé. Despite her obsession with romance, Emma is clueless to her own feelings and her well-intentioned efforts often misfire, leading to a whirlwind of comic complications and, of course, true love."

Paul Gordon penned the music, lyrics, and book for Emma, which was developed at TheatreWorks, and chosen as one of eight new musicals to be showcased at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival in New York. Gordon was nominated for a Tony Award for composing the music and lyrics for Jane Eyre with Tony award-winner John Caird.

TheatreWorks has assembled a stellar ensemble for Emma. TheatreWorks veteran Lianne Marie Dobbs, who was featured in the company's World Premiere productions of A Little Princess and My Ántonia, as well as productions of A Little Night Music, Ragtime and Jane Eyre, returns to TheatreWorks as the titular heroine, Emma Woodhouse. Broadway actor Timothy Gulan makes his TheatreWorks debut opposite Dobbs as Mr. Knightly. Most recently, Gulan took over for Tony-winner Norbert Leo Butz as Freddy Benson on the national tour of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Additional credits include the World Premiere of The Frogs at Lincoln Center (directed by Susan Stroman), The Lion King on Broadway, the World Premiere of Some Like It Hot.

Previews are August 22, 23 & 24; Opening Night is Saturday, August 25 with performances through Sunday, September 16.

Show times are 8PM for previews; Tuesdays & Wednesdays at 7:30PM; Thursdays & Fridays at 8PM; Saturdays at 2 & 8PM; and Sundays at 2 & 7PM.  No matinees August 25 & September 8.  2PM only September 2 & 16, and 7PM only September 9.  There will be "Visual Voice" audio-described performances are available September 14 & 15 at 8PM, and September 16 at 2PM.

Emma will be performed by TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts located at 500 Castro Street (at Mercy).

Tickets ($25-$61) are available at 650-903-6000 or visit Savings available for youth, students, seniors, and members.

Photo: Lianne Marie Dobbs and Timothy Gulan star in Emma (2007) by David Allen

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From This Author Eugene Lovendusky

Eugene Lovendusky graduated summa cum laude from SFSU with a BA in Writing for Electronic Media and a minor in Drama. Raised in the SF (read more...)