Dickens usually got away with it, as could sometimes Wilkie Collins. His finest, ``The Woman in White,'' is now a megamusical at the Marquis Theatre. If good taste prevails, the London import should end up in the red.
Compressing a novel of over 600 pages was no cinch for Charlotte Jones, who wrote the book. Even so, the result should not have been a cross between vulgarization and castration. No self-respecting comic strip would stoop to this kind of travesty, which is seemingly derived not from Wilkie but Jackie Collins. Contortionist plot twists and unlikely coincidences are one thing, but flouting of even basic character consistency quite another.
This is the story of two loving half-sisters, homely but plucky Marian and beautiful but weak-willed Laura. Their poor but noble drawing-master, Walter, falls into reciprocated love with Laura, who, unhappily, marries the baronet Sir Percival Glyde, her late father's chosen.