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The Shakespeare Comedy Spectacular Spectacular!

a Play
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by William Shakespeare

COMPANY : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
VENUE : The New American Shakespeare Tavern [WEBSITE]
ID# 762

SHOWING : August 01, 2003 - September 28, 2003

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A Repertory of 5 Shakespeare Comedies: August 1-September 28, 2003
The Shakespeare Tavern's 15th year anniversary season kicks off with a
Shakespeare Comedy Spectacular! This August and September, 27 actors will perform 101 characters in 5 Shakespeare plays. It's a different Shakespeare comedy each night performed by some of the Tavern's finest, and funniest, actors. It all adds up to an explosion of Shakespeare comedy at America's only Shakespeare TavernŽ. Shakespeare would be proud. Don't miss a single laugh. Come early. Come back again.
Come see all 5 spectacular comedies!
The Taming of the Shrew
($10 Preview August 1) Performances: Aug 9, 17, 21, 29 & Sept 6, 14, 18, 26, 2003
Twelfth Night
($10 Preview Aug 3) Performances Aug 8, 16, 24, 28 & Sept 13, 21, 25, 2003
The Merry Wives of Windsor
($10 Preview August 7)
Performances: August 15, 23, 31, & September 4, 12, 20, & 28
All's Well that Ends Well
($10 Preview August 2)
Performances: August 10, 14, 22, 30
Much Ado About Nothing
($10 Preview September 7)
In Performance September 11, 19 & 27







CAST & CREW LIST
Cast Mark Feldman
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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All's SortaKinda Okay That Ends At Last
by Dedalus
Monday, August 18, 2003
3.0
While watching "All's Well That Ends Well" at the Shakespeare Tavern, I may have accidentally stumbled upon a new critical standard -- Does the ending of a play work, even while watching it with a full bladder? This is a point I'll get back to soon.

First, generally speaking, I liked this production. It was a straight-forward mounting of a relatively unproduced piece of the canon. It was filled with some marvelous comic moments (most supplied by Maurice Ralston's charming Rogue Pirolles). The costumes were visually stunning and the interaction with the audience kept the long evening moving at a good clip. My only quibble is with some sporadic mush-mouth (which made too many of the Jester's bawdiness unintelligible) and some "kick-line" staging.

I did feel the performances of the romantic leads were a bit bland, and failed to overcome the script's main challenge -- how do we sympathize with a woman obsessed with a man who has little (or nothing) to recommend him. What is needed to make this whole thing work is some sort of subtext which makes this attraction apparent from the first moment they appear, some sense of duty that make Bertram's rejections and subsequent actions less caddish, some sense of "history" between them that makes Helena's devotion understandable. None of this was apparent -- we hear competent readings of the text, but little beyond that. To be honest, I've yet to see this relationship "work" in any production, so it actually may be an insurmountable quibble.

Which, finally, brings us to the ending. My painfully full bladder made the ending seem painfully overlong -- plot points are telegraphed pages ahead, making much of the denouement redundant. This was one of the "kick-line" scenes, so it was essentially a lot of characters standing around telling us things we already knew and they already knew. Would a different staging have made this work? Honestly, I don't know. This is the first time I've noticed how redundant so much of this scene is, so I could be speaking from middle-aged-discomfort here, not from critical perception.

In any case, this was an enjoyable production of a very difficult play, with some wonderful performances in the supporting roles. The cast and company deserve credit for a respectable attempt.

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy @ aol.com) [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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