Brontë goes Broadway: Jane Eyre, the musical, in New Paltz

Photo of Julia Cohen as Jane Eyre and Steve Tirch as Rochester by Cynthia DelConte.

Having a madwoman living in your attic who’s prone to fits of maniacal laughter, setting the bed hangings on fire and assaulting your houseguests would be bad enough. But that’s only part of the plight of the much-put-upon heroine of Jane Eyre: The Musical, being performed in the auditorium of New Paltz High School this weekend by 90 Miles off Broadway. In this tuneful stage version of Charlotte Brontë’s classic Gothic novel, you can tap your toes along with the score while Jane gets orphaned by typhus; abused by her only surviving relatives; nearly starved and unjustly accused by the nasty headmaster of a bleak girls’ school, where her best friend dies in her arms of consumption. The plucky governess finally finds the man of her dreams and accepts his proposal, only to discover that it actually portends a life of bigamy.

Will poor Jane ever find happiness without compromising her high ideals? You probably already know the answer; but you’ve never heard it set to music this way. The 90 Miles off Broadway production stars Julia Cohen as the older Jane Eyre, Steve Tirch as Rochester, Carly Fields as Helen Burns, Vincenza Dante as Mrs. Reed, Katie DeFiglio as Blanche Ingram, Mark Colvson as Brocklehurst, Alex Eisen as St. John Rivers, Chloe Gold as young Jane, Annmarie Baker as Mrs. Fairfax, Carly Stirewalt as Adele and Kimberly Rose as Bertha Mason.

Friday and Saturday evening performances of Jane Eyre: The Musical begin at 7 p.m. on May 4 and 5; there will also be a 2 p.m. matinée on Sunday, May 6. Tickets cost $15 general admission at the door, $12 for advance purchase, seniors and students, $10 for members and groups. To purchase tickets in advance, call Kim at Bright Beginnings at (845) 256-9657. For more information, visit


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