2/26: Emma opens at Cleveland Play House

Both the big and little screens have feasted on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma, steadily cranking out adaptations over the years. This weekend, the Cleveland Play House unveils a new version for the stage, adapted by artistic director Michael Bloom. The production stars Sarah Nealis as the smart, pretty and meddling titular matchmaker opposite Mark Montgomery as friend and neighbor Mr. Knightley. Bloom says all of the pop-culture adaptations — with their emphasis on sumptuous production and period eye candy — opened a door for a stage version that accentuates characters and relationships. Peter Amster directs the play, which opens at 8 tonight, with performances through March 31, at the Cleveland Play House’s Drury Theatre (8500 Euclid Ave., 216.795.7000). Tickets: $44-$51. — Michael Gill

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