Fringe Fest 2013: Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical parodies Jane Austen's Regency world
Jane Austen deserves a better comedy. In Penny Ashton’s solo musical, which refers to Austen’s works and parodies her Regency world, Elspeth is a talented writer, but her mother tells her that men are never attracted to smart women. We know how this will end as soon as we meet the smart man. And, while Austen’s humour is subtle, Ashton’s is crude. One character refers to another’s “superlative fingering…on the pianoforte”. Elspeth says of her paramour, “I believe him to have a firm grip on his own manhood.” Painted in broad strokes, the characters are clear. Ashton has a sweet, sure singing voice. Most of the audience I saw the show with loved it.
At Performance Works on September 6 (10:05 p.m.), 7 (7:55 p.m.), 8 (12:25 p.m.), 10 (9:30 p.m.), 13 (5 p.m.), and 14 (7:20 p.m.).