The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - New Broadway Production

Discussion in 'Justice for JonBenet Discussion - Public Forum' started by wombat, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. wombat

    wombat Member

    Cynthia Nixon is in previews of a new Broadway production of the Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

    FFJ Field Trip!!!

    (Cynthia Nixon is Broadway's most favorite female star right now - she won the Tony last year).

    Acorn Theater
    410 W. 42nd St., New York, NY 10036
    between Ninth and Tenth Aves.


    In Previews: 9/20/06 thru 10/08/06
    Mon-Sat, 8pm; Every Sat, 2pm

    Runs: 10/09/06 thru 11/11/06 Mon-Sat, 8pm; Every Sat, 2pm
  2. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    FFJ field trip, that's funny.

    I'll wear a purple t-shirt that says "Sandy Stranger killed JonBenet!"

    Thanks for posting this wombat.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2006
  3. Why_Nut

    Why_Nut FFJ Senior Member

    I found an article from the July 12th, 1977 edition of the Charleston Daily Mail where an ambitious Patsy Paugh says this:

    So, what scene in the play is specifically between those two characters?

    And, might it seem reasonable to say that Patsy, through her characterization of Jean Brodie as merely "eccentric" and "vicacious", gives away a bit of her own nature? I mean, Brodie was an outright fascist, cruel and selfish, yet Patsy found her delightfully appealing, "vivacious" even, which is a characterization that nobody else has given to Brodie. It makes a person wonder what kind of life Patsy lived inside her own head as opposed to the public-relations mask she put on to make people like her.
  4. Sabrina

    Sabrina Member

    National Forensic Tournament?
  5. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

  6. Cherokee

    Cherokee FFJ Senior Member

  7. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    My guess is the scene is the confrontation between Mackay and Brodie in the headmistress's office where Mackay tries to get Brodie to resign. It's very well done by Maggie Smith in the movie.

    Patsy titled her re-write "Deadline". The ransom note implies a deadline.

    "It makes a person wonder what kind of life Patsy lived inside her own head as opposed to the public-relations mask she put on to make people like her."

    Bingo! You win the prize! I had the exact same thought years ago. My conclusion was Patsy had an active private fantasy life through books. Particularly with Muriel spark's work.

    Brodie has been described as a pathological narcissist. Sandy Stranger tried to free herself from Brodie's influence. My guess is this mirrors Patsy's relationship with Nedra, something she needed to live out but never did.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2006
  8. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    I e-mailed both the Miss West Virginia and Miss America pageant organizations the question "Do you have a record of Patsy Paugh's performance in the talent portion of the 1977 pageant?"

    So far no response.

    I think a text of the re-write would be revealing.
  9. Elle

    Elle Member

    Steve Thomas "JonBenét" HB Page (Courtesy of Little)

  10. Pearlsim

    Pearlsim FFJ Senior Member

    correction to passage in Steve Thomas' book

    Patsy's family moved to Charleston, West Virginia - not Charleston, South Carolina. While the homes they lived in in Parkersburg were pretty solid middle-class, the move to Charleston was a definite step up. The house they moved to was in South Charleston, which at that point in time, was one of the most upper crust neighborhoods.
  11. Elle

    Elle Member

    Please notify Steve Thomas yourself of this correction, Pearlsim. I cannot change his book text. When e-mailing him, please state the url of the extract from this page, thank you!

    Or, you could contact the webmaster ACR below.

    Steve's web site and e-mail address:

    N.B. This web-site has been designed and created in an independent effort
    by those supporting Steve Thomas.
    If you have any questions about this web site,
    please contact the webmaster "ACandyRose"
  12. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    Well, I was on the basketball team in high school.
  13. Elle

    Elle Member

    Two and a half cheers! :) Bet you had a lot of fun, and that was the most important thing.
  14. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    From the forward of All The Stories of Muriel Spark;

    "I started writing a story on my favorite subjects, which at that time were angelology (the fascinating study of the order of angels) and the French poet Baudelaire."

    Ahhh, angels and things French. Favorites of Muriel Spark.

    And Patsy too: her little angel JonBenet with the made up frenchish name.
  15. goddess

    goddess Member

    Ok. From the link provided. JonBenet was the creme dela creme in Patsy's eyes. She herself, Patsy Brodie Ramsey, molded her little average child into a top of the line princess. Americas princess at that.

    If JonBebet was not wanting remain loyal to her teacher, then the teacher would get very upset.
  16. Elle

    Elle Member

    All that remains in my mind from the movie is one of her students, "Sandy" I think, ends up posing nude and sleeping with one of Brodie's sleeping partners, the art teacher, with her student telling her she had taught her well. :) Miss Brodie believed in free love as well as many other subjects. :) I would need to watch it again. I saw the Maggie Smith version a long time ago. I enjoyed it. Miss Brodie was not the typical school teacher. I think I would have traded a few teachers in Scotland for a Miss Brodie if given the chance. :). She would have been a lot of fun, compared to the ones I did have. :)
  17. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    Unfortunately, we do not have Ms Paugh’s talent available. And to my knowledge there is no other source that I can send you to for a copy.

    Thank you for your interest in Miss America.

    This is from the receptionist at the Miss America site.
  18. wombat

    wombat Member

    Show has opened

    Here's the New York Times review:

    October 10, 2006
    A Teacher Still Warping Young Minds, but Gently
    Who wouldn’t trust their children with Cynthia Nixon? Even playing bad girls and basket cases, this wonderful actress projects a brisk aura of competence, good will and empathy, leavened by an eminently sane sense of proportion. I have never seen her give an emotionally dishonest performance.

    These are sterling virtues all — and all at odds with the role of one of the theater’s most charismatic warpers of young minds. That’s Jean Brodie, the dramatically self-deluding Scottish schoolteacher and passionate advocate of causes — like sexual freedom and Italian Fascism — generally deemed unsuitable for little girls of the 1930’s.

    In the New Group’s slow, airless revival of “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,†the 1966 play adapted by Jay Presson Allen from Muriel Spark’s short novel of 1961, Ms. Nixon cuts the dangerous Miss Brodie down to size, creating a portrait of a vulnerable, accessible woman who may, after all, be more sinned against than sinning.

    While this unlikely interpretation of the role is probably not entirely intentional, it could be argued (by a generous and elastic mind) that the drama supports the notion of a life-sized Miss Brodie, who is described in retrospect by the canniest of her pupils as “both guilty and innocent.â€

    But without a large-scale Jean Brodie casting giant, violet-hued shadows over her classroom, the play itself seems to shrink, stiffen and show its age. As staged by Scott Elliott, a director known for eliciting (or forcing) the perversity in chestnuts as conventional as “Present Laughter†and “The Women,†the straightforward production that opened last night at the Acorn Theater curiously only underscores the schematic stodginess of Ms. Allen’s script.

    In the 1960’s, to have murmured that Miss Brodie and her pet pupils might be a bit of a bore would have been heresy. Ms. Spark’s wry, elliptical novel, first published in The New Yorker, found sinister shades of darkness that had seldom showed up in earlier portraits of unforgettable teachers. (“Goodbye, Mr. Chips,†indeed.) What’s more, it matter-of-factly presented 10- and 11-year-old girls contemplating with fascination and revulsion the mechanics of sexual intercourse.

    But what most made Ms. Spark’s book a perfect candidate for the theater was its title character, a figure both magnificent and ridiculous in her lofty carriage and extravagant affectations. Eccentricity, sensuality, overweening narcissism: Miss Brodie was a part for lionesses of the stage who combined old-style grandeur with new-style neurosis, and it got them in Vanessa Redgrave (who created the part in London), Zoe Caldwell (who won a Tony as Miss Brodie on Broadway) and Maggie Smith (who was awarded an Oscar for playing her on screen).

    An ambitious but ultimately dreary 1998 revival at the National Theater in London, with a revised script by Ms. Allen, which starred the great Fiona Shaw in a performance that toned down the surface glamour, showed just how much this play needed such histrionic flash and sparkle. Ms. Allen’s adaptation, perhaps of necessity, scraps the sense of the ineffable that makes Ms. Spark’s work shimmer so teasingly.

    Instead, workmanlike exposition, confrontation and flat psychological revelations rule the stage version — including the flashback framing device of the memories of Miss Brodie’s smartest pupil, who has grown up to become a nun and best-selling author (played by Caroline Lagerfelt), who recalls her childhood when she is interviewed by an American reporter (Matthew Rauch).

    That device creaks loudly in the opening scene. (“Perhaps you came under the influence of some particular person,†the reporter asks, “a teacher, perhaps?â€) Still, it does build anticipation for a satisfyingly delayed star entrance for the actress playing Miss Brodie.

    Yet shortly after Ms. Nixon strides onto Derek McLane’s classic schoolroom set, looking very comely in crimped hair and a snug orange dress (the costumes are by Eric Becker), your doubts begin. True, there’s promise in her sly, confident smile, which suggests she is listening to privileged information no one else can hear.

    But her pinched Scottish accent forces her voice into uncomfortably nasal upper registers that suggest Miss Brodie could be Minnie Mouse’s cousin from Edinburgh. It is not a voice to inspire girls to romantic reverie. The overall effect is more coquettish, even girlish, than passionate. Miss Brodie’s essential air of defiant superiority seems merely provisional, which is all too evident when she loses her cool in argument with other adults.

    The other adults, by the way, are uniformly good, including that reliable chameleon Lisa Emery, as the straitlaced head of the school, and John Pankow and Ritchie Coster as, respectively, the dull and dapper men in Miss Brodie’s life.

    Mr. Coster, in particular, is excellent as Teddy Lloyd, the dashing but seedy art instructor, and he provides this production’s one illuminating insight. A blend of bravado and shame, Mr. Coster’s interpretation makes clear that while this second-rate painter may not match Miss Brodie in self-mythologizing, he is her superior in self-awareness. The contrast captures the tragedy of both characters.

    Ms. Brodie’s coterie of favored pupils, the anointed “crème de la crème,†are all fine. Zoe Kazan — as the plain, precocious Sandy, who will become Miss Brodie’s nemesis — turns in a fluid, deeply felt performance (and even survives that excruciating nude scene in Teddy’s studio). But her heightened clarity as an actress — you feel you can always read what this Sandy is thinking — doesn’t match the judgmental guardedness that above all defines the character.

    Ms. Nixon, of course, is a master of emotional transparency. It’s what made her performance in David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,†for which she won a Tony Award this year, so ravishing. Her great gift is for discovering extraordinary depth and detail in ordinary lives. That Miss Brodie bolts at the slightest suggestion of the ordinary leaves Ms. Nixon, for once, in limbo in finding the path to her character.


    And look, Patsy's wedding photo:

    Attached Files:

  19. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    And look, Patsy's wedding photo:

    The Prime of Miss Patsy.
  20. Paradox

    Paradox Banned for Stupidity by RiverRat

    "Miss Brodie says prime is best," Sandy said.
    "Yes, but she never got married like our mothers and fathers," said Jenny.
    "They don't have primes," said Sandy.
    "They have sexual intercourse," Jenny said.
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