Monday, August 07, 2006

Be-Shrew me....

Carolyn Clay in this week's Phoenix liked the Common Shrew much better than Louise Kennedy in the Globe, and now I'm sorry that I haven't seen it. There are a few performances left...
Quoting Clay's review:

"Shakespeare’s super-dainty Kate's become cannoli in The Taming of the Shrew on Boston Common (through August 13). Director Steven Maler has removed the Bard’s pugilistic courtship comedy to Boston’s North End, where Baptista, cigar-puffing father of the reluctant bride, owns an Italian restaurant that spills onto the sidewalk....... . Daughters Katharina and Bianca would seem to help out at the eatery, though Kate, a diminutive spitfire in a tight red dress, mostly does damage with slung water and trays of cutlery.
The time is the 1950s.... you need go no farther back than 50 years for the sexism built into Shakespeare’s 400-year-old play (in which a mercenary wooer brings a rebellious woman to heel) to seem not out of place. The winking implication is that women really rule the roost in Italian America, but they do so by pretending to a lower place in the pecking order. On the other hand, Pettie’s Petruchio is so movie-star charismatic, and is so clearly giving a performance, that for Jennifer Dundas’s stunned Kate it’s a case of you-had-me-from-“Good-morrow.” Indeed, Dundas’s rendering of the act-five speech admonishing her fellow brides to bend to the good deal that is traditional marriage is less lecture than foreplay. Petruchio was always playing a sex game, and now he’s got a willing partner....."

Less lecture than foreplay-- that I'd like to see! But would it compensate for Dead End Kids reading of the poetry? I'll never know unless I go!


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