Friday, February 8, 2013

Downton Abbey meets The Heiress

(photo credit - Jennifer Broski)
(This posting contains a spoiler for the finale of Downton Abbey's Season 3.  If you don't know, and don't want to know what happens, read no further than the Playbill image.) 

I admit it.
The main reason I wanted to see The Heiress was Dan Stevens.
What can I say?
I'm a  Downton Abbey fan.
One among millions.

Dan is Jessica Chastain's suitor in the Broadway revival, which ends its limited run on Saturday, February 9.
Yes, that Jessica Chastain, winner of this year's Golden Globe for best actress in Zero Dark Thirty and Oscar nominee in the same category.

Whether his character (Morris) is truly in love with hers (Catherine), or with her fortune, is the question.

It is the all-consuming question for Catherine's father, played by David Strathairn.
Yes, that David Strathairn, Secretary of Sate William Seward in Lincoln, Oscar nominated film for Best Picture.

The theatre was full on Wednesday night, surely with others like ourselves, drawn in by the star-power.  To celebrate our recent birthdays, Drew and I splurged on front row seats, so close to the Victorian living room set, that the tips of our shoes could touch the stage.  So close that I stifled a sneeze as Jessica gently placed a silver tray on a table, feet away, for fear of distracting her. So close to the drama that we could have been guests, sipping tea and joining the conversation.

For me, however, the true drama of the evening, came after the play.
Drew and I were on the subway when a man seated across the train spotted our Playbill.

"I've been meaning to see that myself.  Was it good?" he asked.
We were effusive in our praise of the acting, sets, costumes.
Then, in one sentence, he ruined the remainder of Downton Abbey's season 3, perhaps Downton Abbey forever, for me.
"I read that Dan Stevens was killed off in Downton Abbey so he could do more things like this."

"What?" That can't be!  Not Matthew (Dan's character)," I shouted, above the screech of the train as it slowed to a stop at the 28th Street Station.

Am I the only clueless fan in America who doesn't already know that Matthew Crawley, the dashing, down-to-earth, decently honest and principled heir to Downtown will die (has already died in the UK airings)?

As soon as we got home, I googled what had to be a mistake.  The man surely did not know what he was talking about.  He was thinking of someone else, Bates perhaps, killed in prison.  But there was the headline, "Dan Stevens Leaving Downtown Abby." With heavy heart, I closed the computer.

Alas, Downton will never be the same.
Poor Dan will never be the heir to that fortune. . . as he will never be married to The Heiress.



  1. Well...I have yet to jump on the DA train. Just no time, I think, though I'm sure I'd like it.

    I *adore* The Heiress. I played Catherine. :>

  2. How exciting! What a complex, and tragic, character. I imagine that was quite a challenging role to play.

  3. It was one of my favorites. Some friends from college came and saw that show, not knowing I was in it. They told another friend, "We knew Kate liked acting but had NO idea how GOOD she was at it!" after the show.

    I always say that second-hand compliments are the nicest. And that one was very nice, indeed.


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