Acclaimed local actress Marion Jeffery returns to the stage for one weekend only, Thursday through Sunday, to offer her extraordinary performance as Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst.” This tour-de-force one-woman show is the final production in Paul Emery’s “Our Town Fall Theatre Series” at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City.
Based on Dickinson’s writings, this inspiring Tony Award-winning play by William Luce illuminates one of America’s greatest and most loved literary figures. In this exquisite portrayal we discover not the dowdy, repressed Dickinson, so often represented in early biographies, but a woman full of life, offering radical and often humorous perspectives on expectation, love and ambition.
She welcomes us into her home with a slice of her famous black cake and is soon gossiping as if we were old friends, revealing much about her family, her priorities, her loves and losses,and her struggles to become a published poet. Along the way, the deep inspiration for her writing is made clear, and her poetry is made plain.
Jeffery, along with director Sheila O’Connor and producer Julie Cobden, first performed “The Belle of Amherst” in 2010 at the Center for the Arts. The production was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews and audiences raving, “Can’t remember having seen a finer actress. Almost like this show was made for her” and “… I saw it last night, and I have been talking about it to everyone! Even dreamt I was telling a greeter in a drug store to let any tourists know about it!” Jeffery followed up her performance with a three-week engagement in Harpswell, Maine, at Centennial Hall, produced by Bill Bergquist and John Bush.
Dickinson’s words are still relevant in today’s world and Marion’s performance is nothing short of magical — a must see for theater and literary lovers, or anyone who dwells in possibility.