Among the works of literature recognized as classics finding their way to the stage, it would be difficult to find a more overrated example than Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." Yet it continues to enjoy its 200-year shelf life, with two local colleges having produced it over the past few years.
Now South Coast Repertory has given this well-ripened chestnut the full-blown professional treatment, adding a modern character to the mix and mounting a visually entrancing version as the opening production of its 48th season. It's still the same vapid plot, but the packaging is delightful.
Two minutes into the show, audiences may believe they've entered the wrong theater as they watch a teen-aged girl (Claire Kaplan) rocking out to screechy music. But then she's handed a copy of the Austen novel and proceeds to read it as the story plays out around her, and she becomes a part of nearly every scene.