The goings-on in “The Taming of the Shrew” get a little complicated, even for the most erudite of Shakespeare enthusiasts. Having an actor summarize the plot and sub-plots at the top of Act Two is just one of the devices Alchemy Theatre Company uses to make the play (running through Aug. 10 at Huntington Beach Central Park Amphitheater and Fullerton College’s Sculpture Garden) more accessible to audiences.
Director Jeff Lowe also stages the seldom seen prologue, in which a drunkard falls asleep and dreams he’s seeing the play; whether it improves the show or needlessly elongates it is a matter of opinion, but it does make the misogyny a little easier to swallow. In any event, the comic element is sharp and well-honed in Lowe’s production; it’s a shame he didn’t play Petruccio as well as direct.
Candice Rochelle Berge understands attitude is everything, and delivers a first-rate Kate that’s a performance to savor. Taras Wybaczynsky Jr’s Petruccio matches her in physicality but not in verbal skills. The cast is uneven, but Sean Casey Flanagan (Hortensio), Linda McDaniel (Tranio), Loralee Barlow (Bianca), Lauren Buangan (Biondello), Amy Lauren Gettys and Adam Ferry (both in multiple roles) are noteworthy. Visit http://alchemytheatre.com.
** ** ** ** **
‘Lear’ at Theatricum Botanicum, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at UC Irvine’s New Swan
‘In the Heights’ at Anaheim’s Chance, ‘Don’t Dress’ at Fullerton’s Stages http://www.examiner.com/article/in-the-heights-at-anaheim-s-chance-don-t...
‘Brothers Size’ at Fountain, ‘Siddharth’ at Nuart, 'Personals’ at Gallery http://www.examiner.com/article/brothers-size-at-fountain-siddharth-at-n...
** ** ** ** **
Lovers of baseball may disagree, but “Damn Yankees” is livelier than most ballgames in my opinion; it’s no coincidence I switched my allegiance to theatre about the same time Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale retired. 3-D Theatricals’ production of the Adler-Ross-Abbott-Wallop show (continuing Aug. 2-10 at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center) is a major league effort under Alan Souza’s direction.
Cameron Bond is solid as Joe Hardy, the ballplayer who materializes out of nowhere; he’s a credible alter ego for Robert Hoyt, who makes us believe Joe Boyd’s Faustian bargain to play pro ball. Jordan Lamoureux is a lackluster Applegate, the devil incarnate, but Alexis Carra knocks it out of the park as his sexy accomplice, Lola. Cynthia Ferrer, Chelsea Emma Franko and Joe Hart add substance, as does Dana Solimando’s choreography. Call 714-589-2770 or visit www.3dtshows.com.
More from Jordan:
Visit my Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Jordan-R.- Young/e/B001K8E7NW
Shakespeare and Solo Performance:
How John Gielgud Paved the Trail for Ian McKellen & Others
Academy Award Losers, 1912-1939:
Great Performances in the Oscar Hall of Shame, Vol. 1
Q&A: Ben Model, lover of comedy and accidental preservationist of rare films
Like a heads up when I post a new article? Just click where it says "Subscribe" at the top. (Not getting the emails? Keep in mind I post about 1-2 times a week). Please share this article with your facebook/twitter/other social media friends by clicking the appropriate buttons above.