Collins—Episode Two hundred sixteen–Swotter Fan


Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

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3 Responses

  1. Heather, in this episode, you mention that you’d like anyone who’s saw the Broadway musical version of “Woman in White” to speak up. Well, I’m usually not a commenter because I’m one of the many who caught the podcast late and are still catching up to real time, but I had to reply for this one! My husband and I saw the musical in Dec. 2005. It was one of the few shows we could get tickets for at TKTS during the holiday season, when huge shows like Spamalot and Wicked had been sold out for months. Unfortunately, it was horrible! We both act in local musical theater, so maybe our expectations were a bit too high, but it simply wasn’t on par with the many other excellent shows we’ve experienced. The sets for the show were almost entirely a digital projection onto a white oval backdrop, that could then be rotated and animated to appear that the characters were going for a stroll or walking into another room. Very impressive, in theory, except on the night we attended the projection system had several malfunctions that completely destroyed the flow of the show. My other dislike was the music, which seemed too reminiscent of other Andrew Lloyd Weber productions. We were able to pick out bits of songs that sounded to much like previous works (“Masquerade” from Phantom, bits of Joseph and Cats). I wasn’t familiar with the Woman in White story before we attended, however, and am really enjoying listening to the original novel on Craftlit. In the musical, Count Fosco even does a stunt with trained mice on stage where they run along his arms from one hand to the other, similar to his character’s affinity for the creatures in the book. Thanks for helping to correct my bad first impression with this story!

  2. Margaret Franklin says:

    In the July 25 New Yorker, Jonathan Rosen has an extremely interesting piece on Wilkie Collins in which he writes insightfully and delightfully about the groundbreaking literary innovations and social commentary found in “The Woman in White” (as well as a few other works). He also discusses his close friendship with Dickens and includes this interesting aside–” “The Woman in White” had a galvanic effect on the public, boosting weekly sales of Dickens’s magazine from 38,500 to as much as 300,000. Before long, there was “Woman in White” perfume and dances named after its central characters … the Victorian equivalent of Happy Meal tie-ins.”