Bwog’s own self-proclaimed shrew, Juliet Schieper, reports from all around campus:
Last night, rain lightly fell upon a crowd of theatre-goers gathered around the Sun Dial. The turn out was less than usual, though still quite impressive, due to the inconsistent weather, for the King’s Crown Shakespeare Troupe’s spring show. KCST chose to perform The Taming of the Shrew this semester—a great choice for an outdoor, traveling performance, as it was very easy to follow the plot even if it was occasionally hard to hear the actors.
The performance began with a party scene—the ensemble, clad in black and white, danced about and made merry as the audience waited for the scene to truly begin. The party scene was too long and left this reviewer wondering when it would end. However, it was worth the wait to witness Christopher Sly’s, played hilariously by Brian LaPerche, CC ’12, drunken tomfoolery and his Lord’s, played by Liz Watson, BC ’12, trickery. LaPerche and Watson were a perfect duo. LaPerche played a drunken fool with just the right amount of slurring and stumbling, which is a hard line to draw. As he belligerently fumbled through the audience to make his way to the “stage,” the audience erupted with laughter. Watson wonderfully played her role as a devious and commanding lord, grasping the attention of not just her ensemble but her audience, too.
Once the play within the play began, the audience was introduced to Lucentio, Zack Sheppard, CC ’11, and Tranio, Breanne Lucy, BC ’11. The duo worked well together; however, at times, Tranio’s character seemed to be more a caricature than serious study. Shortly after, the shrew herself, played Madalena Provo, BC ’12, stormed onstage, wreaking havoc. She was complemented well by her sweet sister Bianca, played by Anya Whelan-Smith, BC ’13, and her loving-if-urgent-to-marry-her-off, father, Baptisa, played by Yonatan Gebeyehu, CC ’11. Although Provo stole this scene with her powerful, commanding, shrew-like presence, Whelan-Smith and Gebeyehu were no less sincere or skilled in their acting. Adam May, CC ’11, as Petruchio, who tames the shrew, was cast quite perfectly, and played his role very comically. Every scene with him and Provo was highly anticipated. Their banter and violence towards one another was hilariously believable. It was an interesting choice on the director’s, Mikhaela Mahony, BC ’11, part to have Petruchio be a purely comical and not-so-menacing character, but it worked well for May.
Although Taming was extremely well-cast in general, a few less prominent but certainly not less important characters stood out among this huge cast: Gremio, played by Alex Katz, CC ’14; Merchant, played by Alyssa LaMontagne, CC ’11; and Biondello, played by Jessie Cohen, BC ’13. The three characters were the comic highlights of this comedy along with May and Provo. Katz and LaMontagne played two, silly old men almost too well, and Cohen acted her comic role without exaggerating her character.
The ensemble in the KCST show is always a treat. However, at times, the actors distracted from the scene itself by being a bit too noisy. Overall, KCST’s Taming of the Shrew was a joy to watch and be a part of, was greatly cast, and was, quite frankly, seriously funny. In addition, Liz Watson, BC ’12, and Breanne Lucy, BC ’11, did a fantastic job with costuming, and the bell-ringers were mysterious and joyful as the audience’s leaders.
KCST’s The Taming of the Shrew shows again tonight at midnight and Saturday at 9 pm. The show is free and begins at the Sun Dial. Dress warm!