FUN UNDER THE TENT
By Marlene S. Gaylinn
In my long years as a theatre critic I have seen many versions of “The Taming of the Shrew,” but never have I witnessed such an entertaining and imaginative production as the one presented by Summer Theatre of New Canaan this season.
I usually frown when Shakespeare’s plays are updated to fit a particular time period or manipulated to express personal agendas but this version, adapted and directed by company director Allegra Libonati, is the exception.
From motorcycle skinheads wearing leather and chains and baby-dolls in sexy outfits, to acrobatic clowns creating outrageous mayhem, this is an easy to digest Shakespeare comedy that is suited for the entire family.
Michael Chmeil, IS the swaggering “Petruchio” reincarnated for our times. I have no idea what he’s really like off-stage but I cannot imagine him otherwise. His counterforce, “Kate,” played by Katherine Malak, is an uncontrollable, rough and tumble teenage rebel while her supposedly pure and virtuous sister; “Bianca” (Faith Bryck) is deceivingly innocent, coy and cute.
Christian Libonati plays the highly entertaining, clown-like “Biondello,” Omen Sade amusingly plays “Tranio,” and Dorothy Abrahms plays her several character roles to the hilt.
Rounding out the talented cast members are: Terence MacSweeny, Michael Nathanson, Mace Perlman, Jed Peterson and Brian Silliman. Regular theatergoers will remember many of the players from previous Summer Theatre of New Canaan shows. The creative costumes are by Arthur Oliver and the sound effects by David Turner, who also provided the music, contributed greatly to this fine production.
“Taming of the Shrew” will continue through July 11 at Waveny Park in New Canaan. Rain is not a deterrent as the performance is under a sheltered tent. The entrance is through the New Canaan High School parking lot.
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