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Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages)

From 23 critic and 176 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting

About the show

Primary Stages and Hudson Valley Shakespeare present a new stage incarnation of Jane Austen's classic novel, adapted by and starring Kate Hamill ('Vanity Fair,' 'Sense and Sensibility').  More…

The outspoken Elizabeth Bennet faces mounting pressure from her status-conscious mother to secure a suitable marriage. But is marriage suitable for a woman of Elizabeth’s intelligence and independence? Especially when the irritating, aloof, self-involved, tall, vaguely handsome, mildly amusing, and impossibly aristocratic Mr. Darcy keeps popping up at every turn! Literature’s greatest tale of latent love has never felt so theatrical.

The Wall Street Journal

“The ever-ingenious Ms. Hamill has given us something completely and delightfully different, a smallish-cast period-dress ‘Pride and Prejudice’ that she’s done over in the revved-up manner of a Hollywood screwball comedy…Such a show demands worthy staging, and Amanda Dehnert…delivers the goods with gusto…In addition to having written the script, Ms. Hamill plays Lizzy Bennet with winning impishness…The kind of show that would flourish in a small Broadway house.” Full Review

Front Row Center

“The cast is beyond perfect, the direction inventive, and the text is stripped of all the unnecessary fluff. In other words, this production makes the story that Jane Austen shaped available and immediate...So connected are the actors and elements of this production, one cannot single any one person or element out. This is an ensemble that stands as an example of what the word ‘seamless’ means in the theatre...Treat yourself to this one.” Full Review


“While this is not a Bedlam production as was Hamill's hugely successful stage version of Austen's second published novel, ‘Sense and Sensibility,’ director Amanda Dehnert has staged the play in their inimitable style for this co-production of Primary Stages and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival and has created a clever 19th century entertainment with a decidedly 21st century sensibility. The versatile Hamill has also given herself the plum role of Elizabeth Bennet, here known as Lizzy.” Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"A delightfully comedic farce...Dehnert keeps this delightful play moving with a beyond-brisk pace that manages to clearly delineate the novel’s action from beginning to end...The assumed seriousness of the novel is replaced with the unexpected playfulness of Hamill’s script, the precision of Dehnert’s direction, and the brilliant cast assembled for this production...This is a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ for this time and every time.” Full Review

This Week in New York Blog

"Hamill's latest work is her third consecutive triumphant and wholly original adaptation of a classic novel...It’s a barely controlled kind of mayhem in which anything can happen at any moment adding to the ever-building excitement...'Pride and Prejudice' is a sheer pleasure, an exuberant and exhilarating reimagining of a cherished classic about the rather tricky game of love and holding out for just the right match." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

“Brilliantly brought to life by the immensely talented and seriously smart Hamill...She has returned to the stage, to star in and present Lizzy and the Bennet family shenanigans to us all in an absurdly funny but ridiculously heart-felt manner...Will squeeze your romantic heart in the most touching of manners, as you laugh, love, and truly embrace these characters...A pure theatrical delight, a playful and smart romp through the English countryside of Austin’s world." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Incites the senses and decries stuffy sensibility...Hamill’s take on the classic novel has the convivial effect of hurling you head-first into the marital machinations of the entire Bennet family...Austen’s eristic tale has an incandescent champion in Kate Hamill who’s a firebrand in the role of Lizzy Bennet...I haven’t stopped laughing at her plight; it’s a perfect distillation of Austen’s valiant heroine. Excellent direction by Amanda Dehnert controls the chaos." Full Review

New York Theater

"The tone has been rewired from witty comedy of manners to boisterous farce...A fast-paced, winking entertainment...Hamill also winds up doing justice to Austen in her portrayal of Lizzy...The bickering between her and her love-hate suitor/antagonist Mr. Darcy has its comic moments, but as the play progresses, the attraction between the two feels real...For all the bells and whistling the last quarter of Hamill’s play is as charming and touching as it is in Austen’s novel." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"While the present work offers many pleasures, it lacks the air of lighthearted effortlessness...A frenetic pastiche of slapstick comedy, anachronisms, and crossdressing that tries much too hard to entertain...Surprisingly Kate Hamill’s Lizzy is disappointing; she comes across mainly as a sourpuss. Some of the anachronisms were jarring for me...The audience appeared to be having a good time. If you are not measuring it against Hamill’s earlier work, you probably will too." Full Review

Woman Around Town

“Hamill reinterprets with irreverent glee, one foot in the appropriate era, the other is contemporary time, never eschewing pivotal plot...Full musical tilt without swallowing up its story...The company are adroit with high-low humor...I’m afraid that Hamill embodies her character with less insight and more ham than that with which her fellows manifest theirs...The production shows an excellent editorial eye...Pace is brisk, but knows when to pause...A welcome catharsis.” Full Review


"A laugh-out-loud adaptation...Isn't super accurate, as far as the novel is concerned anyway...The play itself features cross-dressing actors and more anachronisms than a Mel Brooks movie...While some of these jokey interludes are hit-and-miss, the antics mostly work because Dehnert and Hamill commit to the anachronistic tomfoolery throughout the show. But it's the actors, with their onstage playfulness who make the production a joy to watch." Full Review


"Purists need be forewarned that the gifted and talented Hamill has eloped just a bit recklessly with the irony, wit, and insightfulness of the novel's matrimonial considerations...This version, nevertheless, remains commendably faithful to Austin's plot yet with an almost giddy disposition towards parody...Matchmaking a la Austin in the Georgian manner has rarely been afforded so much giddy fun and funny games." Full Review

Off Off Online

“What’s noticeably missing is the story’s historical context. What’s left is a Reader’s Digest reduction of Austen’s saga, with wildly anachronistic language...Hamill’s script stays close to Austen’s dialogue, but her rowdy innovations undercut the source material...What saves the day for this production is faultless casting coupled with Dehnert’s fast-paced direction...The as close to irresistible as any cast currently on a New York stage.” Full Review

The New York Times

"It hasn’t met a rib it can’t tickle. But the silliness masks a cynicism that blunts some of the fun...If the performances are sometimes too exaggerated, they are always spirited...I don’t mind the anachronisms in language or music and I’ll go to the mat for Ms. Hamill’s un-Georgian mischief. And yet, this 'Pride and Prejudice' misses the heart and real radicalism of its source. Maybe it even misses the point." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"Hamill’s 'Pride and Prejudice' has fun and charm to spare, but it ultimately feels like it’s grafting an idea onto Austen’s text...Though this 'Pride and Prejudice' is full of high spirits and genuine mirth, Hamill’s additions to Austen feel, well, like additions. The games and bells become bells and whistles...When it embraces Austen’s inherent genius and humor, the production starts to shine...In its persistent additions to its source, it only intermittently accesses the power of what’s al... Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“While there are flickers of fine comic acting, and the actors are all expert at what they do, subtlety is sacrificed for pedal-to-the-metal hamminess. Hamill's overacted Lizzy is the worst offender…The performance has an anything-for-a-laugh exuberance that often smothers the story in farcical foolery…Act Two, while still prone to excess, tones things down considerably and has some lovely, even serious moments, especially an extended conversation between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.” Full Review

Time Out New York

"There is a pleasing simplicity to her adaptation...But in Primary Stages’ frisky production, comedic bits overwhelm character. Dehnert lets the playful antics descend into uncontrolled theatrics...The most effective moments are the ones with the most heart. O’Connell’s awkwardness is endearing, and Thorn delivers touching turns as both the mild Bennet patriarch and Lizzy’s practical friend Charlotte. Like Austen, they recognize the humor that can be found in restraint." Full Review

Village Voice

"The performance, though always skillful, depends entirely on your willingness to enjoy something that hews to Austen’s narrative while consistently violating her manner, her spirit, and her tone...The excess of goofball behavior has not left sufficient room for Austen to cast her spell, and without her spell, what was the point of adapting her novel?...The company’s love for the work, though not entirely absent, has been displaced by other concerns, like making noise and having fun." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“Either you go for this riff on the classic or you don’t...An onslaught of buffoonery by a cast that, as talented as it is, overacts to the hilt under the direction of Dehnert. Depending on one’s reaction, blame or praise can be aimed at playwright Hamill...The audience generally whooped it up with laughter...However, I had trouble joining in the revelry, as I am too engaged with the wit and meaning in Austen’s original to see the purpose of such no-holds-barred satire.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The case for this sort of fooling around is that a classic is supposedly being given new life, making it accessible to modern audiences...It might help if these bits of business were executed with more precision, but there is far too much mugging, shouting, and running around, all of which proves wearying...Must it be so blatant, so juvenile? Couldn't a little Austen-style sophistication sneak into the proceedings?" Full Review

Berkshire Edge

for a previous production “Hamill…is at it again more riotously, more ingeniously than before. With a rollicking, witty, smart, thoroughly entertaining ‘Pride and Prejudice’…Ms Hamill delights with her best work yet, and serves the best summer theater fare anywhere...Beneath ‘P&P’s’ laughs, there’s a core, more delicate sensibility – a wry, keen awareness that regards, with squinted eye, people warts and all. This 'P&P' is blissful mirth – a special potion of affectionate, bemused cynicism, and realistic optimism.” Full Review

Just Jane 1813

for a previous production “Hamill has clearly made it her own in way that I think will resonate with all kinds of Austen fans!...Hamill does a lovely job as Austen’s heroine, Elizabeth Bennet…Kudos to Kate Hamill for displaying the courage of Elizabeth Bennet to not only adapt Austen’s most popular story for the stage, but to adapt it in a way that I believe will appeal to Austen fans, old and new, in a way that’s fun, imaginative, and bold.” Full Review

Hudson Valley One

for a previous production “Not for Hamill such a passive/aggressive angle of attack; she goes for full-blown farce that tears the social conventions of the landed gentry to hysterical shreds. Amazingly, deliciously, it all works; but purists should consider themselves forewarned…While clever, the humor here is very broad indeed…I highly recommend giving HVSF’s 'Pride & Prejudice' a try. It’s loads of fun, put on with both great professionalism and refreshing, zany zest.” Full Review

Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Delightful, Edgy

See it if You want to see how an unusual staging can enhance our understanding of a beloved classic, or if you just want to have a great time.

Don't see it if You are a grump.

Also See this production post haste if you have a chance! It was easily the... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want to see an excellently written very funny play with wonderful actors.

Don't see it if N/A

Funny, Exquisite, Masterful, Intelligent, Delightful

See it if If you like contemporary theater. Absolutely delightful, funny, clever, talented. Highly recommend for a night of laughter and witty dialog

Don't see it if off broadway productions, Jane Austen, actors playing more than one character

Entertaining, Hilarious, Brilliant writing

See it if you want to see a truly funny take on Pride and Prejudice, the Bennett family and all of the characters.

Don't see it if you only want to see Jane Austen works in their purest form. Otherwise, please see it.

Also This play is in my top 10 of all of the plays I’ve seen in the last 12... Read more Read less

You thought you were done with austen--guess again!!!, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious

See it if you are a fan of Austen and want to see a remarkable variation on a traditional story. It will make you so happy! Hats off to them all!

Don't see it if You are a purist about Austen and don't enjoy an out-of-the-box production.

Also WOW!! The Cherry Lane Theatre is having a season that is a bowl of rip... Read more Read less

Delightful, Refreshing, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You would love an amazing retelling of a classic story of romance and family.

Don't see it if The thought of a love story on stage turns you off.

Clever, Delightful, Great writing, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if You appreciate parodies/adaptations. See it if you love Kate Hamill or if you don't yet know her. Wee it if you love fabulous acting. See it

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see this play.

Also Kate Hamill is an amazing writer and actor. She consistently delivers ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Hilarious, Romantic, Must see

See it if you love P&P and want to see a new take! It's absolutely BEAUTIFUL. What a tribute! Also, Mr. Collins/Ms. Bingley is worth every cent!!

Don't see it if you want a classical adaptation of P&P, Kate Hamill has definitely changed a few things.

Clever, Entertaining, Hilarious, Quirky, Delightful

See it if You are a fan of the book and don't mind an irreverent take on a classic, if you enjoy laughing, if you like a bit of music & dance.

Don't see it if You are a literary purist and prefer a straightforward rendition of a classic, if you prefer drama to comedy.

Also I love Jane Austen's novels, have read all of them and many books insp... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You want to be surprised by staging choices.

Don't see it if You think Austen must be done like Masterpiece Theater.

Delightful, Clever, Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny

See it if want to be entertained and have any enjoyable time watching a Jane Austin play.

Don't see it if want to see a serious version of a Jane Austin play!

Hilarious, Clever, Great writing, Masterful, Refreshing

See it if You might like a modern take on this classic. Kate Hamill matches wits with Jane Austen and lands it - a great job.

Don't see it if You haven't read the original or you just had an operation that puts you at great risk if you laugh.

Clever, Delightful, Ambitious, Funny, Great acting

See it if you are ready for a delightful, surprising, clever version (deconstruction?) of a beloved classic novel. It is tremendous fun and well done

Don't see it if you don't like productions with small casts playing multiple roles, if you aren't in the mood to laugh, or you don't like classics changed.

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Romantic

See it if you’re a fan of Jane Austen, or shows in the vein of RTC’s The Robber Bridegroom, Fiasco’s Into the Woods, or Soulpepper’s Of Human Bondage.

Don't see it if you don’t like genre mashups. This integrates certain modern elements into the classic world of Jane Austen.

Also I’m a big fan of the “brand” of creativity employed by this show. Acto... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You love the original version of pride and prejudice. If you have a good sense of humor.

Don't see it if If you don't like when modern elements are mixed into traditional shows

Delightful, Funny, Riveting

See it if you enjoy very well done "Storybook" theater. Funny, moving, creative, active. Loved it! Mary slayed me!

Don't see it if you want straightforward retelling of a Jane austen classic.

Ambitious, Hilarious, Great writing, Must see, Refreshing

See it if you love Jane Austen in general, Pride and Prejudice specifically and especially Kate Hamill, who has done it again - a true theater talent.

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy poking fun at classic stories. Austen would be rolling, all right, but completely in laughter. SO GOOD.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You're a Jane Austen fan and want to see a humorous adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that maintains Austen's wit but with a new twist

Don't see it if You want to see a serious show or don't enjoy a more clever and nuanced but also comedic take on P&P

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Hilarious, Masterful

See it if you want to see a fun, imaginative, well written and acted interpretation of a classic.

Don't see it if you don't like; plays, interpretations of classics, a fun night out at the theatre.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if You like well done farce and Jane Austen

Don't see it if You don't like tampering with classics

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if Have a great time revisiting a classic novel in a totally engaging manner , funnier than Sense and Sensibility

Don't see it if You take life and love seriously and want your theater to do the same

Enchanting, Clever, Great acting

See it if You enjoy powerful ensembles, clever adaptations of classics, and Austen

Don't see it if You aren't familiar with Austin or Pride and Prejudice, you don't have a desire to be amused, don't like old-fashioned story lines.

Enchanting, Great acting, Great writing, Must see

See it if You love P&P and you want to see a smart, careful, and truly well-done adaptation performed and directed incredibly well.

Don't see it if Mild anachronisms (non-period music, etc.) will bother you.

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great acting

See it if You enjoyed other Kate Hamill productions. You know Austen and can enjoy a humorous interpretation.

Don't see it if You hate farce. You’re unfamiliar with Austen or only want your Austen super serious.

Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Refreshing, Ambitious

See it if you love the satire and sly fun in Jane Austen's classic novel. Imaginative staging, delightful singing, great silliness.

Don't see it if you are hooked on the romances. They are the plot but not the purpose of this production.

Cast & Creatives (12)