Mary has the cast expertly choreographed juggling blocks and shapes on a plain but practical two-level set, efficiently transporting us from kingdom to kingdom to battlefield, etc. The costumes set the production in “the 1950’s of romantic comedy” and the period songs before the show evoke that era. Scene change music (sound design Quinn Kelly, Nicole Gabs) effectively promote the pace and the mood.
Mary’s director’s notes are interesting and helpful, noting parallels between the possibly “antiquated” mores of the 17th century, and the “wish fulfillment and inversion fantasy where we root for improbable outcomes that meet our fondest popular fantasies” that is prevalent in romantic comedy movies of later eras… and even today.
As many of you know, I am not a Shakespeare lover — just not bright enough or prepared enough to process the period/poetic/archaic language - maybe if I read it in advance? (I felt comforted that I was not alone, when I overheard someone behind us say, “I never knew the story of this show,” and his companion remarked, “I still don’t know it.”)
I did check out the Wikipedia summary in advance, so I wouldn’t be totally in the dark, and the actors were very clear on their diction (I particularly enjoyed the dignity and presence of Nicole Yabs as the Countess, the pretension and desperation of Tyler Frease as Parolles, and the campy jestering of “Fool” Frankie Nevin) but I still didn’t understand the meaning of half the lines.
So if you are a Shakespeare fan, don’t miss this free show! (Donations accepted for LCC theatre scholarships) There are two more performances - 8pm Saturday and 2pm Sunday.
LCC Black Box Stage
168 Gannon Building
Park on Grand Avenue and enter by the small door facing Grand, on the south end of the building.