Submitted by Susan on 9/4/01
My 12 year old daughter Melissa and I saw Jane Eyre four times and each time
we were both mesmerized by Marla's performance. The first time we saw the
show was at Kids' Night on Broadway and we both sat there in tears after the
show. We formed a special bond that night as we both realized that this
memory would live with us forever. Melissa purchased 2 dozen yellow roses
with her birthday money and gave them to Marla after the second to last
performance. Although Marla was probably exhausted from yet another fantastic
show, she hugged my daughter, and told her she would go home and be sure and
put the flowers on her kitchen table. Melissa's goal is to someday be on
Broadway, and Marla Schaffel is the one person she strives to be most like.
We both wish her much more success in the future.
Submitted by Katie G. on 8/21/01
I first saw Jane Eyre in Nov. during previews, but I did not stay around to meet the cast.
However, I did meet Marla on my birthday in March during the short run of Jane Eyre.
She was so sweet and she even told me to enjoy my birthday.
It was freezing outside and there weren't that many people outside, but she still stayed around and talked to my friend and I.
I gave her a CD that I made which she appreciated.
When I went back my third time she told me that she didn't have a time to hear it, but it was because she had just moved back to NYC.
The final time I saw her was the day before the closing of Jane Eyre.
The stage door was packed and she managed to walk all the back to where I was standing just to say hi. I couldn't believe that she remembered who I was. She also remembered my friend who had come with me twice before.
I went up to see her new show, They All Laughed.
Unfortunately I missed her at the stage door but I sent my playbill to her by mail and asked if she would please have the whole cast sign it. Well a month goes by and yesterday I got it back fully signed by the whole cast as well as a nice letter from Marla thanking me for coming up to see her. I am so grateful that she took the time to not only ask the entire cast to sign my playbill but also to write me a thank you for driving up all that way. She is the sweetest actress that I have ever met and I can't wait to see her on Broadway again. Hopefully her new show will be coming to Broadway in spring 2002 if so I can't wait to see it again.
Submitted by Mary-Claire on 7/23/01
I have met Marla 3 times. I saw Jane Eyre on Broadway 4 times. The show was absolutely beautiful and I am still sad that it closed. She is a very talented woman and I know she has much success still ahead of her in life. Marla is kind and gracious and it is very nice to see someone as down to earth as she is, especially in the showbiz world.
Submitted by Gerrit on 7/9/01
My best pal and I left our wives and families and made our way to New York Friday night, June 1. The performance was glorious, and our seats in Row H, center, were magnificent. I grieved to see the empty seats, though.
After the show, we waited outside in the drizzle. The cast members came out one by one, and every one of them was more than gracious, even pleased to chat with the small group of fans who waited. Finally, Marla came out, almost incognito in her Jane Eyre baseball cap. But those expressive eyes are unmistakeable, as is her boundless energy. She asked if "Robert" were there, and one guy spoke for all of us when he said, "I wish I were!" She spoke to everyone, and seemed genuinely touched by any compliments. She said to one woman who praised her singing, "It's my joy." She truly seems a dear heart. Her sister and perhaps parents were there, so soon she was gone. But meeting her only confirmed all I feel when at a performance—she embodies Jane Eyre with a "full heart." We can only hope the show will go on tour or that they'll ask Marla to headline a London production.
Submitted by Kristen S. on 6/24/01
I absolutely adore Marla Schaffel. She is such a talented actress, and I look forward to seeing her in upcoming shows. The first time I saw Jane Eyre was the show's last performance, actually. I LOVED it!!! Marla's performance was magnificent! By the end of the show, I was in tears. I waited outside the stage door for an hour and a half for Marla Schaffel to come out. She seemed so humble and unassuming about the whole thing...I mean, there were dozens of people waiting just for her! Marla was so nice. She signed my playbill and a poster, and she also took a picture with me. It really is a shame that this show had to close. It was truly amazing! June 10 was a performance I will never forget!
Submitted by Olli on 6/20/01
I saw Jane Eyre for my first, second/last time on its closing weekend. I met Marla after the Saturday performance I attended. She was one of the sweetest, classiest and most charming performers I have ever met. Well let me just say first of all her performance was just incredible (as was the entire show, but this is a Marla website)....Marla was in great voice and amazed me with her true focus and understanding of the character—something us actors should strive for. Marla Schaffel WAS Jane Eyre. The highlights of the performance for me were "Sweet Liberty", which I find to be an amazingly uplifting song (thanks, Paul Gordon!) and when Marla sang after hearing Rochester's voice across the moors.
The stage door was MOBBED. Marla was very patient, taking pictures with everyone and talking with everyone...very candidly and often very funny. I loved how anytime someone asked her for a picture, she made a funny face right before the picture and occasionally would say something like "no, I'm sorry we have to do that again"...very charming. I talked to her for a few minutes, as we have a few mutual friends. I also mentioned to her she should have ran up and stolen the Tony, to which she responded "it's not worth it....I would never do that", which (like her closing speech the next day) showed she was not bitter or upset about how anything happened and was truly grateful. This is one of my favorite stage door experiences/performances ever. Thank you, Marla.
Submitted by Kathryn Aquilino on 6/9/01
I have been in the advertising industry for over 15 years and go to so many Broadway shows, but it wasn't until I first saw Marla in Titantic and then Jane Eyre, that I have been completely moved by a performer. Her angelic voice is so amazing that it makes the hair on your neck stand at attention, amd compelled me to go see "Jane" three times. I would go see anything that Marla is in.
Submitted by Amy on 6/8/01
I saw Jane Eyre in February and absolutely loved it. I got tickets half-price and because a friend had recommended it, so I ended up sitting on the front row. For about half the show, Marla stood right in front of me, and it was gripping. After the show, I waited at the stage door, and found Ms. Schaffel to be gracious, charming, warm and friendly, telling different audience members where they were sitting and what they were doing during various parts of the show. I left feeling charmed, and wished I could really know her personally. I also saw her performance at the Tony awards, and it was breathtaking.
Submitted by Kayla on 6/3/01
I have had the privilege of seeing Jane Eyre twice. You have no idea how much I would love to see the show one more time before it closes, but now that I am out of college for the summer I am no where near NY (I miss it already!). I will always have my memories though, and I will share them with you now. I hope this will not be too boring.
Last fall semester I took a really interesting course called Women and
Literature. One of the books we read was Jane Eyre, and as I read it I was totally captivated. The strength Jane Eyre has, the passion, so many other things (too many to go into) made me love this book and instantly it became one of my all time favorites.
As we were reading it a student informed my very cool professor that Jane Eyre is coming out on Broadway. She was very excited at this news and immediately started making arrangements. Through a group discount and a school subsidy we got to see Jane Eyre for $20, an incredible deal for Broadway. The timing for seeing the show was amazing, only a week or so after we finished reading the book.
When we all met at the theater a man made a very interesting announcement. Due to technical difficulties, the first few shows were cancelled. So we were seeing the very first show of Jane Eyre! I thought this meant we were seeing it opening night, but as I soon learned this was the first preview. I always thought that was cool though—My class and I got to see Jane Eyre making its Broadway debut. As I sat along with my professor and other classmates in a box seat (we had terrible mezzanine seats and some of the boxes were empty!) I was totally captivated by Marla’s performance as Jane. This is really no surprise since I was captivated by Jane Eyre in the novel. Marla is an amazing actress, and she really captures Jane’s heart in her performance. Even my professor, who was critical of some points in the show, admitted that Marla really did a wonderful performance. I also thought James Barbour was also quite stirring as Rochester. The two really have chemistry.
The second time I saw the show was about two months later. I took my friend out for her birthday. We went to tkts, and I told her I would see anything she wanted. Needless to say when she picked Jane Eyre I didn’t put up a fight! If you’ve been to tkts, you know the seats you get are quite random. You don't really have a say. Well you’ll never guess what kind of seats we got—front row, center! When we looked at our tickets we were in disbelief, but that was indeed where we found ourselves sitting when we went into the theater. To see the show so close is almost like seeing another show. You don’t miss a thing, you see every detail, every facial expression. To see Marla’s performance up close, as well as James' and the whole cast, was really a unique experience. To see Marla especially was amazing. Even when I was so close to not miss a detail her performance was perfect, even better since I could see her acting/singing so closely.
If I knew about going to the stage door after the show I would have done that both times I went. But silly me, I have not lived in New York very long and did not learn about that till long after the two times I saw the show! When I learned I could do that I had it in mind to go, but got so busy I kept putting it off. Then the last week of school came along, and I heard the sad news that Jane Eyre’s days were numbered (before I knew about the extension due to Alanis). So during a night during finals week (though I didn’t have a final the next day), a night I thought would be my last opportunity, I walked to the theater and finally met Marla. I must have been a sight! Because of finals I was on about two hours of sleep. I was not dressed up at all so I did not quite fit in with all the theater goers around me. Despite how out of it I must have appeared Marla didn't seem to notice and was very kind and appreciative. It was so nice meeting her and talking with her. She was nice enough to give me both an autograph and a picture with her. I also gave her a little something: A diary of Jane Eyre’s that I wrote as a creative project for that Women and Literature class. I wasn’t sure whether to give it to her or not, but Chiara, among other people, told me to go for it! I left my contact info at the end of it in hopes Marla would tell me what she thought of it. I have yet to hear from her, but I have patience and am hopeful
(though if I never hear from her I understand, of course—I am both optimistic and realistic!).
All these are experiences I will never forget. Marla, if you are out there, it was truly a pleasure meeting you. I wish you all the best. I am sure your acting career will continue to flourish.
Submitted by Sally G. on 4/19/01
I don't know how to state the mass emotions I have when hearing her sing. I was recently went to the big apple and saw her in Jane Eyre. Wow! I know, I know, she always gets "gee, you were wonderful," or "gosh that was great," but thank you Marla...thank you for it all. A true inspiration. You are blessed w/ a gift and thank you for sharing it with me and the rest of the world. Thank you...
Yes, that may seem to be a lot of thanks, but really it isn't enough at all. I got to meet Marla after the show. I only shook hands for I had to go to my next musical, but I was just happy and honored to meet the person w/ the voice. I am at a loss of words here...I truely hope to see her in more shows/musicals/whatnot. And again wow and thank you!
Submitted by Amber S. on 4/8/01
I just saw Jane Eyre, and Marla Schaffel was brillant!! She is an extremely talented performer. I stayed around after the show and met her as well. She is a very nice woman who has time for her fans. I got my picture taken with her, and I got her autograph. She is such an amazing talent and she is a wonderful person as well.
Submitted by Hank O. on 3/24/01
My wife and I saw Jane Eyre on March 17th. Marla Schaffel was remarkable.....I have rarely seen such conviction in a Broadway performance. This woman was not "on automatic pilot" during a matinee performance, but was fully inhabiting her role, committed to the character and her story; So satisfying. Her nuanced acting was so compelling and what a singer....her mezzo is wonderful and rich. It was a privilege to watch her and to hear her.
I hope she becomes world famous and has long and terrific career. All the best to Ms. Schaffel!
Submitted by Bert S. on 1/8/01
Having written a couple of weeks ago after my first visit to Jane Eyre, at which time I mentioned that I was planning to see the show again, I wanted to fill you in on that experience.
While visiting the New York area, I stay with my sister and brother-in-law, who live on Long Island. My niece Jia is now seven, and, though she has been to community theatre productions, had not yet been to a Broadway show. We decided to initiate her on this trip. Anticipating that some of the other shows with kid appeal, such as The Music Man would not be available on a Saturday matinee, I told Jia the basic story of Jane Eyre, and it seemed of interest to her. As things turned out, Eyre tickets were the best bet available at the TKTS booth on Saturday, and for good seats (front mezzanine), too. So Jane Eyre became Jia's first Broadway show.
Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed the show, admiring anew Marla's incredibly focused, nuanced, committed, energetic performance and the outstanding work done by James Barbour, Mary Stout, Elizabeth DeGrazia, Andrea Bowen, Jayne Paterson, and the rest of the fine cast, including Bradley Dean, who was subbing as Mason. And again, the audience response was terrific, culminating in another standing ovation. Jia's attention wavered little during the show, despite its relative length. She knew what was going on and, for the most part, was engaged and involved.
After the performance, we stood by the stage door, where Jia's initial Broadway experience became even more special. A number of people were waiting to see Marla, and she couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating when she came out. Even though she had just finished one and had another strenuous performance to do later, she spoke to everyone, willingly signed autographs, posed for pictures, etc. She talked to Jia directly, asking her how old she was and whether she had been able to understand the story, and gave her a personalized autograph on her program. Jia also met Young Jane, Lisa Musser, a very nice young lady, who also autographed her program. I happened to have with me my Jane Eyre book (the special Broadway edition, of course), which both Marla and Lisa were kind enough to sign.
So, all in all, a memorable, special day at the theatre. I just hope the show runs into mid-March, which is the next time I'll be able to get down to New York, so I can go see the show and cherish Marla's performance yet again.
Submitted by Bert S. on 12/26/00
I saw Jane Eyre this past Saturday afternoon in New York and thoroughly enjoyed it. Though the audience was disappointing in terms of its size, the response was very positive. I usually take a dim view of standing ovations, which so often mean little today, but I willingly joined in on this one, in tribute to the outstanding work done by Marla, who is onstage for all but about five minutes of the nearly three-hour show, and the rest of the fine cast.
I have been a fan of Marla's since first seeing her as Jennifer in Paint Your Wagon at Goodspeed Opera House in 1992, in which she was remarkably appealing and charming. As a Goodspeed subscriber, I also saw her in Lucky in the Rain and Glimmerglass, in which, unfortunately, I felt that both she and fellow Kate McGowan Jennifer Piech were both largely wasted. Marla performed here in Rhode Island this summer as Maria in West Side Story at Matunuck Theatre by the Sea. I didn't catch that, but she was very well reviewed by the local press.
I did get to speak to Marla momentarily outside the theatre after the show on Saturday, just to say how much I had enjoyed her performance. She was very gracious. I will be back in NYC after New Year's, and most likely will go see Jane Eyre again. It's a lovely show, and Marla is great.
Submitted by Nick B. on 1/30/04
I am a high school student and aspiring actor on community and regional stages in my area. I am currently in my school's production of Jane Eyre: The Musical with the role of Edward Fairfax Rochester. Why I am writing this is because while flipping through channels about three months ago, I came upon one of the best movies I have ever seen, I Love You...Don't Touch Me! I told all of my friends to rent it and watch it, but unfortunantely, no video stores in our area carry it. What really made the movie great for me was the lead, Katie. At that time, I had no idea who the actress was but I knew that this woman had a beautiful voice and so full of drama it could come out her ears.
Soon after that my school held the auditions for the spring musical, Jane Eyre. I was thrilled when I found out what role I recieved, and started doing research of the production online. I love the music and lyrics, and Charlotte Bronte's story is such a classic, but Marla always stood out in pictures or reviews I read. Everyone seemed to love her, and so did I after getting a copy of the Jane Eyre cast recording. I found this site today and realized that JANE is KATIE! Marla pulled off both heroine roles with style and beauty. I only wish I could have seen the show on Broadway. WHY WAS IT CANCELLED!? I hope to see Marla in another film, and maybe someday in a national tour, or better yet, another Tony-worthy Broadway show with Marla's name on the marquee.
If you've met Marla or seen her perform, I'd love to post your story and/or photos on this page. Fanart is also welcome.
Please email your submissions to me at webmaster(at)currerwells.net!
Please email comments, questions, or suggestions to webmaster(at)currerwells.net.