Louis Hobson, Chelsea LeValley Light Up JANE EYRE at ArtsWest

By: Oct. 02, 2018

In an updated chamber version never before seen on the West Coast, ArtsWest will next stage John Caird & Paul Gordon's Tony-nominated musical JANE EYRE, adapted from Charlotte Brontë's classic story of passion, self-discovery, and freedom. Performances will run Thursday through Sunday until December 23.

JANE EYRE the musical follows the tale of the beloved, early-feminist novel: when a spirited young orphan finds an unexpected home with a wealthy family, she also - against all odds and expectations - finds love. But strange voices from the attic and dark secrets from the past spark flames of fate that could consume them all. With sweeping music in a new chamber version of the celebrated musical, Charlotte Brontë's classic love story soars to life and introduces this trailblazing heroine to a new generation.

Nearly 20 years after its Tony-nominated 2000 debut, the creators - John Caird (LES MISÉRABLE) & Paul Gordon (DADDY LONG LEGS) - have reworked their original material into a 10-person chamber version, which received a lauded debut in Cleveland this past August. Now, it comes to Seattle, and ArtsWest Artistic Mathew Wright is thrilled to take the helm.

"I've been thinking about a production of JANE EYRE since 2001. It's one of the finest musical theater scores I've ever heard in my life - it reaches extraordinary poetic heights," said Wright. "To share a room with Jane and Rochester," he added, "as they work through their passion and challenges through sweeping, breathtaking music, will be a truly exceptional art experience for Seattle audiences."

Wright isn't the only one excited for the journey ahead. "As a young girl I dreamed of playing the heroes or the villains, which were typically male roles," said Chelsea LeVally, who will play the titular heroine. "It seems 2018 is the beginning of yet another renaissance towards equity and revisiting the classic story of Jane's intelligence matched by her inner fortitude is timely as ever."

LeValley and ArtsWest have a meaningful history. As LeValley remembers: "ArtsWest was one of the first theaters in town that gave me a real shot with some delicious roles. I believe in and am inspired by this theater and I am thrilled to get to work with Mat Wright and Chris DiStephano and Laura Lee and the rest of the ArtsWest team."

Playing LeValley's opposite as the brooding, passionate Rochester is Louis Hobson, a Broadway performer renowned for originating the role of Doctor Madden in the original Broadway company of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning NEXT TO NORMAL. A Washington State native and Pacific Lutheran University graduate, Hobson - known most recently to Seattle audiences for starring roles in The 5thAvenue Theatre's ASSASSIN'S and A ROOM WITH A VIEW - brings his extraordinary talent to West Seattle to ignite the ArtsWest stage as Jane Eyre's dynamic, troubled paramour.

Joining Hobson and LeValley in JANE EYRE are Connie Corrick (MARY POPPINS, Village Theatre), Anasofia Gallegos (WELCOME TO ARROYO'S, Theater Schmeater), Zoe Foster (ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, Second Story Repertory), Ashley Koon (THE PAJAMA GAME, Center Stage), Aaron Norman (BLUES FOR MISTER CHARLIE, The Williams Project), Mikko Juan (PETER AND THE STARCATCHER), Christian Jay Quinto (PAGEANT, A Sensible Theatre Company), and Tatum Poirrier (RAGTIME, The 5thAvenue Theatre). Alongside Director Mathew Wright on the Creative Team are Music Director Chris DiStefano (HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH, LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL), Stage Manager Aviona Rodriguez Brown (TWO SISTERS AND A PIANO, Theater Schmeater), Lighting Designer Tristan Roberson (SWEENEY TODD), Costume Designer Siri Nelson (PETER AND THE STARCATCHER), Scenic Designer Lex Marcos (THE NANCE), and Properties Master Danielle Franich.

JANE EYRE plays November 15 - December 23, 2018 at ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116. Tickets ($20-$42) available online at www.artswest.org, by phone at 206-938-0339, or at the box office Thursday through Saturday, 2-7:30 p.m.

ArtsWest is a vibrant center for both performing and visual arts located in the West Seattle Junction. This 149-seat theatre provides a unique setting for audiences and artists as stories of human emotion unfold in an intimate space. Winner of the American Theatre Wing's 2012 National Theatre Company Award, ArtsWest has produced such diverse work as AMERICAN IDIOT, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, 2016's critically acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen's GHOSTS, and a celebrated production of AN OCTOROON earlier this year. ArtsWest produces artistic events that provoke conversation, incite the imagination, and use live theater as a powerful agent of change. www.artswest.org


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