MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

A New View of Forster’s Room

Photo of Jeffrey Stock (l) and Marc Acito (r) by Jeff Carpenter.

Photo of Jeffrey Stock (l) and Marc Acito (r) by Jeff Carpenter.

It was just a little over a century ago that E.M. Forster published A Room with a View, neatly bookmarking the end of the strictly organized Edwardian era he so memorably satirizes. But amid its social critique, the novel traces a journey of romantic discovery. This is the journey undertaken by the heroine, Lucy Honeychurch, as the promise of love prompts her to challenge the code of conventional behavior she has been brought up to obey.

The success of the 1985 film A Room with a View, produced with characteristic opulence by the Merchant-Ivory team, won a new generation of fans over to Forster’s elegant fiction. After all, Lucy’s awakening begins during an actual journey, and the stunning Italian and English landscapes of the novel’s setting lend themselves naturally to cinematography.

But writer Marc Acito and composer-lyricist Jeffrey Stock decided that Forster’s vision is also ideally suited to the medium of musical comedy, and their hunch quickly attracted the interest of theaters devoted to nurturing new works. Following initial incubation at the Musical Theatre Lab at Running Deer Ranch (located at the base of Mt. Adams), Acito and Stock were invited by San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre to audition what they’d come up with. Nine months later, A Room with a View received its world premiere there in March 2012.

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Filed under: musicals, theater

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