Want a refreshing take on Shakespeare? Check out Couerage Theatre Company’s delightful production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” which opened Saturday, October 12, 2013 at The Second Stage Theatre in Hollywood. Fresh, fun and inventive, this show mixes up time periods, contemporary and historical, (such as, iPads and iPhones as props with Roaring 20s music) in a way that works amazingly well, given a certain amount suspension of disbelief. After all, the enduring appeal of The Bard’s work is the timelessness of his themes.
Kudos to Director Ted Barton who has assembled a talented and energetic cast featuring (in alphabetical order) Brian Abraham, Jonas Barranca, Anthony Mark Barrow, Elitia Daniels, Julianne Donelle, Michael Faulkner, Madeline Harris, John Klopping, Jeremy Lelliott, Ian Littleworth, TJ Marchbank, Chris O’Brien, Emelie O’Hara, William Reinbold, Sammi Smith, and Patrick Wenk-Wolf.
King Ferdinand of Navarre (Jeremy Lelliott) decides it would be a great idea to remove himself from worldly pursuits and attractions including women for a period of three years. He talks his young Lords to make a commitment to join him. Yeah, that’s a great idea, especially as the Princess of France (Sammi Smith) and her lovely Ladies have been invited for a visit. Of course, the young men all fall in love with the young women who are forced to live outside the castle in tents. Thus, the frivolity begins including masquerading Muskovites, plays within plays and mischievously “mis-delivered” love letters.
Many LOL moments are delivered by all the actors including some especially funny stuff with standouts Patrick Wenk-Wolff as schoolmaster Holofernes and Wiliam Reinbold as Curate Sir Nathaniel. And Jonas Barranca’s unique, hilarious and hysterical interpretation of Don Armado is worth any price of admission.
Shout outs to Mary Reilly for some very fun and colorful costumes and the stage design by Tito Fleetwood Ladd which maximizes the minimal space. Joe Calarco clearly had a good time with the sound design, as well.
This ‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ is not to be missed for anyone who likes their Shakespeare rare!
“Love’s Labour’s Lost” performs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday through November 10. Visit https://coeurage.secure.force.com/ticket or call (323) 944-2165.
Couerage also has a unique take on ticket pricing. With their “Pay What You Want” policy good theater fits into anyone’s budget for any performance during the run, not just on specified “Pay What You Can” previews. Plus, audience members who decide they received more bang for their buck than their original payment can add more to the coffer after the performance.
The 2nd Stage Theatre is located at 6500 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Street parking is available.