William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew is a misogynist tale of love, comedy and how to break the will of a spirited lass. The Theatre St. Thomas production of Shrew was a well put together rendition.
I’ve seen modernizations of Shakespeare before and I have seen them crash and burn. Before curtain, a city scape was projected on the wall. I was getting nervous. The 2014 Taming of the Shrew worked. From the opening scene at a club to Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” appearing several times throughout, the modernization kept the audience laughing and the play current. Director Robin Whittaker runs a tight ship and the results are well worth it.
The simple set design made for helpful visuals as well as rapid set changes. Audio and lighting changes were tight and contributed to the ever-flowing pace of the show.
Costume design (Emily Bossé) as well done and contributed heavily to the modern feel of the show. Though I couldn’t seem to get over the fact that many of the actors’ dress pants didn’t fit properly. Other than that, the costume design reflected the characters’ portrayals well.
Shrew is already a funny show, but the cast was able to make it even more hilarious. Simple facial expressions of characters like Grumio (Ryan Van Buskirk,) Tranio (Miguel Roy,) or Baptista’s (Kyle Cameron) bitch face, had audience members in stitches.
While the rest of the cast was excellent, the show belonged to the Tamer and his Shrew, Petruchio (Jesse LaPointe) and Kate (Sharisse LeBrun).
LeBrun was able to beautifully portray the one of the most debated characters in all of Shakespeare’s works. The disobedient grungy Kate portrayal slapped and kicked her way into a passionate and stunning performance.
The stand out actor of the night was Jesse LaPointe with his rendition of the misogynist Petruchio. LaPointe made his character the unpredictable and probably drunk uncle you are so glad you didn’t have. His disregard for all other characters made him so hateable, spectators worried that he may break the fourth wall and cuss out the audience. It’s not easy being the bad guy, but LaPointe killed it.
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