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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Killing Mr. Darcy

You’ve heard it before: Modern men can’t measure up to Jane Austen’s heroes. Straight, female Janeites are hooked on impossible fantasies. Hey, girl: If none of the guys you meet seems good enough, stop looking for Mr. Darcy already!

As I’ve noted in the past, this Jane-Austen-raises-unrealistic-romantic-expectations meme – call it the Austenland Trope -- ignores the evidence of Austen’s actual books, which are not to be confused with the far swoonier movies based on them. Still, who wants to let some boring old literary analysis get in the way of a good story?

Not, it would appear, the Maryland theater company currently putting on a new comedy with the delightful title of Die, Mr. Darcy, Die! The play, which runs through May 22, concerns the adventures of Laura, “a young woman [who] gives up on men because they can never live up to the hero of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, particularly his embodiment by Colin Firth.”

The play is by John Morogiello, artistic director of Best Medicine Rep, a professional theatre company located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, about an hour’s drive from both Baltimore and Washington D.C. Tickets cost $25, or $23 for seniors.

No matter how dubious the Austenland Trope may be as a matter of lit crit -- and probably of sociology, too -- it’s potentially fruitful ground for comedy. If you make it to Die, Mr. Darcy, Die! – even if you go solely in hopes of buying a T-shirt with that title on it – let me know what you think of the show!

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