Monday, June 21, 2010

Girl fight!

It's too bad girls don't like each other much in Shakespeare. It would be nice if our clever bard had left a few more words of wisdom for his female followers that weren't about feuding sisters abandoning senile fathers to the elements, or ladies threatening to dash babies' brains out.

Maybe it was the Secret Theatre's staging of The Taming of the Shrew that got me thinking about Shakespeare's gals. Their fun interpretation put a Mormon spin on the famous morality play, casting Petruccio in a particularly sinister light as a Warren Jeffs look-alike played by Richard McDonald. Kate mercilessly led her sister Bianca onstage by a rope, and clawed at her father for his indifference. (Brief aside: the hair design was a stroke of sublime genius).

In the many Midsummer Night's Dreams we've seen lately Helena and Hermia are always directed to communicate midsummer in jealous high-pitched shrieks. Last night's production in Central Park was no exception. The Gorilla Rep's disappointing romp in the park in conjunction with an all-Norwegian cast of actors was no Smiles of a Summer Night. Actors sped so fast through their lines while galumphing around on the grass that I was glad I knew what the play was about, since it was impossible to get much sense of it from their deliveries.

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