‘Mr. Bennet’ invites you to the theater

Published 11:53 pm Thursday, April 10, 2008

It’s that time of year again. The flowers are blooming in the warm spring sunshine, the random and unpredictable April showers are bringing about the warmer weather that only hints at what we’ll endure later in the year, and for us in the Jefferson Street United Methodist Youth Group, our annual Dinner Theatre is right around the corner.

For the past three years we have performed such classics of literature and theater as “The Crucible,” “Our Town” and “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

This year we’re continuing in our trend of classics with John Jory’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s popular romantic comedy, “Pride and Prejudice.” Set in the English countryside of the early 19th century, it is the story of the Bennet family and the whirlwind of events that sweeps them up and changes their lives forever. It begins with the arrival of a man of large fortune named Mr. Bingley — played by Geoffrey Martin — to the region of Hertfordshire where the Bennets live. Romance ensues between Bingley and the Bennets’ eldest of five unmarried daughters, Jane — played by Kirby Richard. Bingley is generous and kind, but is accompanied by his friend; an arrogant gentleman by the name of Mr. Darcy — played by Chesley Coffey. On meeting Mr. Darcy, everyone in the family despises him, especially the second eldest, Elizabeth — played by Joanna David. Elizabeth is pursued romantically by the annoying Mr. Collins — played by Grant Benoit. The plot thickens when we learn that the unlovely Mr. Darcy also has feelings for Miss Elizabeth.

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Memorable performances will be given by senior players Madeline Jeansonne as Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mary LaFrancis as Lydia Bennett, Lissa McManus as Mrs. Gardiner and Lura Glatzer as Charlotte Lucas. Our long-suffering director is John Hudson.

The play will be performed at 6 p.m. on April 16, 17, 19 and 20. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for youth, and $4 for children. We will be serving pork loin, potatoes and a vegetable for dinner and chocolate cake for dessert. A nursery will be provided each night. You may make reservations by calling the Jefferson Street UMC office at 601-442-3795, or purchase tickets from a member of the youth group. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, although it is helpful to our dinner team if we know in advance that you are attending. I extend my invitation to you to come out and watch us, and look forward to seeing you there.

Guy Wimberly, a.k.a. “Mr. Bennet,” is a member of the Jefferson Street United Methodist Youth Group.