Hear ye, hear ye. If the sheer joy obtained by reading Thomas Hardy's classic romance is simply not enough for you, you can enjoy

Tess of the d'Urbervilles, The Musical

This is neither a joke, nor a lie.

Tess of the d'Urbervilles boasts a score by maestro Stephen Edwards (also the composer of Four Baboons Adoring the Sun, and Trackers of Oxyrhynchus) and lyrics by the great Justin Fleming (writer of The Nonsense Boy and Harold in Italy, a "dance drama").

"Tess" opened at The Sheffield Lyceum in Sheffield, England, and then went on to a grand national tour of Britain which included the Theatre Royal in Norwich and the Palace Theatre in Manchester as waypoints before finally opening in London's West End in November of '99.

The show received raves from notable keystones of the theater press, such as the Sheffield Telegraph ("a masterpiece"), the Sheffield Star ("spectacular"), and the Derbyshire Times ("a work of art").

Tess of the d'Urbervilles' West End cast included:

Philippa Healey and Poppy Tiernay sharing the role of Tess
Maxine Fone as Young Tess
Alasdair Harvey as Alec d'Urberville
Jonathon Monks and Robert Irons sharing Angel Clare
Catherine Debenham Taylor as Izz Huet
Dianne Pilkington as Marian Dewey
Gemma Sandy as Retty Priddle
Sara Weymouth as Joan Durbeyfield
David Oakley as Dairyman Crick
Paul Haley as Jonathon Kail
Caroline Hobin as Mrs. Crick

and other people as other characters from Tess of the d'Urbervilles.

Sadly, it appears that this "spectacular", "masterpiece", "work of art" will not be gracing American shores anytime soon, unless we can prevail upon the spirit of Thomas Hardy to intervene.

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