Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

BWW Reviews: Book-It's PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Will Jump Start Your Romance

Richard Nguyen Sloniker and Jen Taylor in
Pride and Prejudice at Book-It Rep
Photo credit: Chris Bennion

Romantics the world over have loved the works of Jane Austen for centuries with her tales of loves lost and then found. And one of her best beloved is now on stage from Book-It Repertory Theatre with "Pride and Prejudice". And not only is it a wonderful adaptation filled with superb performances but, guys, take your dates to this one and you're bound to get lucky.

It's all about the Bennets. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (Brian Thompson and Kimberly King) live a comfortable but not overly opulent life with their five daughters. There's the lovely Jane (Rebecca Olson), the clever Elizabeth (Jen Taylor), the bookish Mary (Sascha Streckel) and the silly Kitty and Lydia (Amy Danneker and Rachel Brow). So when the dashing and rich Mr. Bingley (Trick Danneker) moves into the estate nearby with his sister Miss Bingley (Kate Sumpter), Mrs. Bennet sees the perfectly opportunity to marry off one of her daughters into a wealthy family. But Mr. Bingley has also brought with him his friend, Mr. Darcy (Richard Nguyen Sloniker) who may be quite wealthy and handsome but is also very prideful and has no time for any frivolity and may put a damper on love finding its way. But when he meets the clever Miss Elizabeth his world is turned upside down. True, they both claim to hate each other but we all know how that goes in romantic comedies.

And that's what this is, one of the first RomComs. Love is in the air, two people claim to hate each other but find they feel just the opposite and hijinks ensue. OK well Austen is a little more complicated than that. There's no convenient bet to not have sex for 40 days (heaven forbid) and Miss Elizabeth is not writing an article on how to entrap a man. But really, all the standard RomCom tropes are there; love, sex (well implications of sex), misunderstandings and the big reveals. But it's no wonder since Austen laid the foundation for all those Hollywood hacks to build upon, which makes this a perfect date night.

Jen Taylor and Rebecca Olson in
Pride and Prejudice at Book-It Rep
Photo credit: Chris Bennion

Adapter and director Marcus Goodwin has assembled a wonderful cast and kept the snipes, barbs and comedy alive in the piece throughout all of the romance. Taylor and Sloniker play off each other beautifully with their constant insistence of dislike for the other making their eventual coupling (spoiler alert) all the more lovely. Equally heartwarming is the sweet relationship between Danneker and Olson both with their adorable awkwardness, especially Danneker who manages some wonderfully sweet awkward glances and moments. Thompson and King are also gorgeously paired with their hilarious counterpoints of attitude toward getting their daughters well situated. But every good love story needs and obstacle or four and those are deftly provided. Sumpter keeps her nose in the air and her tongue razor sharp throughout. King plays double duty also playing the disapproving Lady Catherine. John Bianchi is hysterically bumbling as the potential suitor Mr. Collins. And Connor Toms is deliciously slimy and duplicitous as the caddish Mr. Wickham.

All told the show is a solid winner and leaves you with a renewed sense of love and romance. And so with my three letter rating system I give this a contented sigh of a YAY. And trust me, if you have a romantically inclined girlfriend or boyfriend, do yourself a favor and take them to see this to show off your own romantic sensibilities. You'll thank me for it later.

"Pride and Prejudice" from Book-It Repertory Theatre performs at the Center Theatre at the Armory through December 28th. For tickets or information contact the Book-It box office at 206-216-0833 or visit them online at www.book-it.org.



Review: HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, AND NEAR at ACT Theatre Photo
A new work by ACT Theatre and the Hansberry Project, HISTORY OF THEATRE: ABOUT, BY, FOR, and NEAR will take you on a journey through time and space to meet the people who forged the foundations for Blacks in theater. The show dispels myths about minstrelsy, delves into the hows and whys of black face, and covers key players of early theater in America. Unheard voices are released, forgotten stars are remembered, and a rich legacy is revealed.

Acclaimed Filmmaker Roya Sadat Directs World Premiere of A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS at Seatt Photo
When acclaimed Afghan filmmaker Roya Sadat agreed to direct the operatic premiere of A Thousand Splendid Suns, the challenges encountered by the story's Mariam and Laila, two women brought together under brutal Taliban rule, were a reminder of a traumatic period in Afghanistan's history.

Review: METAMORPHOSES at Seattle Repertory Theatre Photo
Compelling storytelling is the focus of METAMORPHOSES at Seattle Rep. Every choice is made with intention, and every facet of the show is a work of collaboration. The gods, the humans, and the demigods are all shown to have strengths and weaknesses. With stories that reach back into the eons of the past, METAMORPHOSES leads you to laugh, to hurt, and to reflect on what it means to be human.

Village Theatre Presents MISS STEP This Month Photo
Village Theatre today announced its latest Village Originals Beta Production MISS STEP, a fun new musical comedy by Kit Yan and Melissa Li, the creative minds behind the musical Interstate. Set in the rollicking 80s, this heartfelt story follows Pam Carter, an unremarkable trans woman working as a toll collector on the New Jersey turnpike.


From This Author - Jay Irwin

         Born and raised in Seattle, WA, Jay has been a theater geek for years.  He attends as many shows as he can around the country and loves taking in new exciting... (read more about this author)


Review: BECOMING OTHELLO: A BLACK GIRL'S JOURNEY at Seattle Shakespeare CompanyReview: BECOMING OTHELLO: A BLACK GIRL'S JOURNEY at Seattle Shakespeare Company
January 7, 2023

Dear Readers, you know I find one person shows to be problematic. Often, they get into maudlin territories and end up being someone else’s therapy on stage. So, I was dubious when Seattle Shakespeare Company announced Debra Ann Byrd’s one woman show “Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey” to start off their 2023. As Byrd stepped onto stage at the Center Theatre, I took it as a good sign that we didn’t get the cliché, “Oh, I didn’t see you there” as if we’d intruded on her private moments. Instead, we got not words but song and movement offering up prayers to her ancestors who got her to where she is today. And then what followed was 90 minutes of a raw, well-paced, well-constructed look into this amazing woman who broke down the barriers erected in front of her by centuries of selfish oppression. Also, what followed was a hell of a way to start off 2023.

SEATTLE CRITIC'S CHOICE AWARDS (JAY'S PICKS) 2022SEATTLE CRITIC'S CHOICE AWARDS (JAY'S PICKS) 2022
January 6, 2023

Dear Readers, I don’t need to tell you, it’s been a crazy year. Many theaters just coming back to life or ramping up again post pandemic. But even with all the chaos, Seattle still comes up with some amazing shows from theaters large and small. Here’s a list of my personal picks for outstanding shows and performers from the past year, 2022.

Review: MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL at The Paramount TheatreReview: MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL at The Paramount Theatre
December 17, 2022

More. That, Dear Readers, is the watchword the creators of the stage adaption of the 2001 Baz Luhrmann film, “Moulin Rouge!”, subscribed to. They threw in more sparkle wherever they could in this stage musical, currently playing at the Paramount. Unfortunately, they also threw in more songs, more lights, and certainly more bass in this spectacle that loses the heart and charm of the original in favor of assaulting the audience’s senses.

Review: THE FLIGHT BEFORE XMAS from Macha Theatre WorksReview: THE FLIGHT BEFORE XMAS from Macha Theatre Works
December 4, 2022

Dear Readers, we all know that travelling during the holidays can be a nightmare. Delayed flights, family drama, not to mention dealing with others attempting their own travels. But as frustrating as it can be, what’s not frustrating is the delightful cast of characters created by Maggie Lee in her play, “The Flight Before Xmas”. A wonderful and heartfelt diversion from the usual holiday fare currently playing at West of Lenin from Macha Theatre Works.

Review: MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL at The Seattle RepReview: MR. DICKENS AND HIS CAROL at The Seattle Rep
December 1, 2022

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is an enduring classic. We all know this. It’s never been out of publication since its first publishing in 1843. It has spawned numerous movie, TV, and stage adaptations from the serious to the Muppets. Now the Seattle Rep has come along with a World Premiere of Samantha Silva’s “Mr. Dickens and His Carol”, based on her book of the same name. Taking a supposed look at the creation of this classic tale, this historical fiction is heavy on the fiction and light on the history, cutting a wide swath with its poetic license about the author and turning him into a pompous buffoon in a story and a production in desperate need of an editor.