Guess which Tampa Bay Christmas play was also a Hallmark holiday movie?

Three things to know about this holiday love story, playing in Tampa Bay through the holidays.

American Stage, in St. Petersburg, takes the delightful 'Pride & Prejudice' and makes it even more delightful. - Joey Clay Photography
Joey Clay Photography
American Stage, in St. Petersburg, takes the delightful 'Pride & Prejudice' and makes it even more delightful.

We loved the sets. We loved the lights. We loved the snowfall (snow!). Our party of four thoroughly enjoyed absolutely everything about Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at American Stage. This is the first year the storied downtown St. Petersburg theater company has mounted this production, and it's well worth your time and money. Trust us, you won't regret it. American Stage has created a holiday masterpiece — but if you're not familiar with Pride & Prejudice, there are some things that won't make sense to you. Rather than expect you to read it (or re-read it; we know you used the SparkNotes version to pass your English Lit exam), here's three things you need to know to enjoy the show to its fullest.

1. In Pride and Prejudice, Lady Catherine de Bourgh wanted Mr. Darcy to marry her daughter, Anne. This is not really the thrust of the book, but it does make Anne de Bourgh's humiliation more understandable when yet another man spurns her for yet another Bennet daughter.

2. Although Jane Austen didn't write this play, there's more than enough evidence to suggest this is how it could have happened. Austen's nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, published A Memoir of Jane Austen in 1869. In it, he discusses what his aunt said happened to many of the characters in Pride and Prejudice after the novel ended. Clearly, Austen lived with her characters and, although she may not have delineated a Christmas at Pemberley, it's not out of line with what she thought could have happened.

3. This is also a Hallmark Channel holiday movie. So even though we classified it last week as a BBC holiday movie, it's clearly a real Hallmark movie. Christmas at Pemberley Manor premieres Dec. 17. Seriously, y'all, we can't get away from these holiday movies.

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