Monday, July 18, 2005

The Tamer Tamed July 16th 20005

Shakespeare & Co Lenox Ma.
This is Elizabethan playwright John Fletcher's nominal sequel to "The Taming of the Shrew". As such, Petruchio (whose Guantanamo style treatment of Katerina has apparently lead to her demise) has now remarried and is in due course comically beaten down and humiliated by his new wife the frankly amazonian Maria.
Fletcher knew were all his laffs were I'll give him that (Supposedly he was one of Shakespeare's collaborators on various plays) but the play is utterly trivial and bereft of any memorable lines or meaningful poetry.
On the other hand as a meditation on male-female relations it is surprisingly broadminded in every way.
I do hope Tina Packer keeps up with this emphasis on the other Elizabethan playwrights, Massachusetts is in desperate need of a "Doctor Faustus" for the ages...and I'd love to see Jonson's "Fall of Sejanus" staged by someone with class and talent.

Up on the mainstage Celia Madeoy is playing Katerina in Packers' "all up" version of "The Taming of the Shrew".
Celia is a woman of destiny in every way, back in 1999 or so, she actually played Petruchio in a gender reverved version of "The Shrew". This was a perfectly heavy handed harebrained idea in every way, or it was until Celia strode out onto the stage and took over the play and the audience without firing a shot.
Believe me, this was a once in a decade performance combining the actor's vital trilogy confidence, technique and talent.
It was an amazing show in every way, the fact that she is now playing Katerina is a thing to look forward to.

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