Last week Richard and I decided it was high time we went out on our “first date” in our new home and what better time to do it than around Valentine’s Day. So we made plans … dinner first, followed by a play. We were both very excited and found ourselves looking forward to our night out! It was a huge success, I am happy to report!
For dinner we chose a restaurant in Bath recommended by a fellow Barter’s Island Community Club member.
The Solo Bistro (www.solobistro.com) was super! The décor is “Maine Modern” with pale wood tables and brightly colored chairs. The choices were wide ranging and the prices competitive. We opted for the three-course Prix Fixe menu of the evening. We had no regrets as we savored our spinach salad with vanilla white balsamic vinaigrette; Maine Shrimp Risotto with tomato, leek, eggplant and Greek olives; and chocolate chip cookie sandwich with pumpkin marshmallow ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce. Our waitress was friendly and attentive, but not intrusive and we left knowing that we would definitely put the Solo Bistro on the “must do that again” list.
Then it was off to Brunswick and the play. The play was a production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice at the Theater Project adapted by Joe Hanready and J.R. Sullivan and directed by Christopher Price.
The Theater Project (www.theaterproject.com) was founded in 1972 as a non-profit community-based theater in Brunswick, Maine. Its mission is “to change young and old; to enrich and inspire their living, and provide a safe environment for original and dynamic exploration.” If this production of P&P is any indication I would have to say that they wholeheartedly fulfill their mission.
Now I must admit I am a Jane Austen devotee and am pretty fussy about adaptations of her work, but I am happy to say that the performance and staging at the Theater Project was fabulous – just fabulous and did Miss Austen’s work great justice!
The auditorium seats about 75 or so and it was a SOLD OUT performance. The ages of the audience ranged from vivacious and charming college students to low key and charming old timers (like us). But one thing was clear – everyone there was enjoying the play. The set consisted of one small round dining room table, four would-be Chippendale chairs, two upholstered benches, two wooden benches, two topiaries and a crystal chandelier that magically appeared or disappeared as was needed to indicate that we had moved to Pemberly or to the infamous residence of the infamous Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The furniture was moved in and out of position by two young ladies attired as servants who occasionally draped a lace tablecloth over the small round table and topped it off with a vase (pronounced with a short “a” sound of course) of flowers and who always curtsied.
The ensemble cast was very good, especially the actress playing Elizabeth. She was delightful and I would liken her performance to that of Jennifer Ehle’s in the A&E version also starring Colin Firth. But it was the actor playing Mr. Collins, who in our opinion stole the show! He was awkward, self-effacing, slimy, cow-towing … and that smile – Yuk! In short, he was perfect!
Richard and I thoroughly enjoyed it – we discussed it on the way home and again over the next few days. And of course it inspired me to once again drag out my much beloved, dog-eared copy of P&P … you know what they say: once an Austen devotee, always an Austen devotee.