The Taming of the Shrew (review)

The Taming of the Shrew (review)
The Taming of the Shrew (review)
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THE PLAY: The sweet younger daughter of an Italian merchant can’t be married until the feisty older daughter (Katarina) finds a husband. Enter Petruchio to take on the task of restraining Kate’s wild streak.

 

THE PRODUCTION: This all-female production features a fine cast, but it’s director Chelsea Burke’s lively direction that makes the show’s strongest impact. She brings a bawdy physicality to the staging that’s not only a continually inventive use of the basically-empty space, but adds immensely to the production’s comic appeal. Even though the dialogue is sometimes hard to understand, the staging effectively relays the romantic conflict and comedy. Bianca Bryan makes an assured Petruchio, while Michelle Greensmith’s Kate is appropriately spunky. The most enjoyable characters are created by Desirée Dabney (with her offhand adlibs) and Maggie Bavolack (a delightfully creaky old man). From the opening medley of women’s empowerment songs, it’s clear that this cast is having fun. However, the already long running time could have used some trimming and the act-opening songs are an obvious choice (although they do affirm the message, especially the moving closing number). Other than the obvious issues, I didn’t find any theatrical advantage to this women-driven concept. Even Cora Delbridge’s costumes looked like girls playing dress up in a potpourri of men’s thrift store clothes (with the exception of Kate’s lovely dresses).  Running time: 2:40

 

THE POINT: The all-women cast under Chelsea Burke’s continually creative direction is enjoying the show as much as the audience.

 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

 

A Quill Theatre production at Agecroft Hall thru 8/4

 

Photos by Aaron Sutten

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