First presented as part of the Palo Alto, CA, company's 2006 Spring Festival of New Works, the musical now plays a full-scale production at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.
Performances began Aug. 22 and opened Aug. 25 for a run originally slated through Sept. 16. Now, "due to overwhelming popular demand," as an announcement states, the show will play through Sept. 22.
TheatreWorks founding artistic director Robert Kelley — who helmed the previous staged reading — returned to direct the work that features a book, music and lyrics by Gordon (Jane Eyre).
"Endowed with wealth, good-looks, and prestige, 19th-century ingenue Emma Woodhouse prides herself on her matchmaking skills," according to TheatreWorks. "Having engineered one successful marriage, she turns her attention towards making a match for her new protege. Despite her obsession with romance, Emma is clueless to her own feelings and her well-intentioned efforts often misfire, leading to a whirlwind of comic complications and, of course, true love."
Lianne Marie Dobbs (A Little Princess, My Antonia,) is featured as the titular heroine opposite Timothy Gulan (The Frogs, The Lion King) as Mr. Knightly. They are joined in the cast by Brian Herndon (The Elephant Man) as Mr. Elton, Dani Marcus (Beach Blanket Babylon) as Harriet, George Ward (On Golden Pond) as Mr. Woodhouse, Suzanne Grodner (The Rose Tattoo) as Miss Bates and Travis Poelle (Dessa Rose) as Frank Churchill. Also featured in the company are Richard Frederick, Danielle Levin, Mindy Lym, Sean Patrick Murtagh and Nick Nakashima.
Emma was also seen at the 2006 National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival in New York. The composer was nominated for a Tony Award for the 2000 Broadway musical Jane Eyre. Other credits include Greetings From Venice Beach, Daddy Long Legs and The Magnificent Ambersons. He's also working on a musical version of the film "The Front" and has written for such recording artists as Bette Midler, Quincy Jones, Alanis Morrisette, Smokey Robinson and Dionne Warwick.
TheatreWorks' 38th season will continue with William Gibson's Golda's Balcony (Oct. 3-28), William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Nov. 28-Dec 23), Wendy Wasserstein's Third (Jan. 16-Feb. 10, 2008), Kathleen Clark's Southern Comforts (March 5-30, 2008) and Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's Caroline, or Change (April 2-27, 2008).
Tickets for Emma at TheatreWorks at the Mountain View Center, 500 Castro St. (at Mercy), are available through (650) 903-6000 and online at theatreworks.org.