Shakespeare in Love – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

How could the man who penned eighteen comedies, ten tragedies, ten history plays and one hundred and fifty four sonnets ever experience a writer’s block? An inability to connect words and thoughts isa scandal tht William Shakespeare cannot abide, especially since his rival playwright Christopher Marlowe seems to have no trouble producing prize-winning epochs. To learn more about the literary rivalry, move post haste to get thee to the Connecticut Repertory Theatre at the Jorgensen Theatre until December 8.

Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman’s “Shakespeare in Love, ” adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, plunges the audience back in time to jolly olde England in the sixteenth century as Shakespeare struggles to meet his financial obligations. Without a muse and a promising plot line, young Will is busy avoiding all the gentlemen, Henslowe(Anthony Cochrane), Fennyman (Matthew Antoci) and Burbage (Anthony Giovino) who have already advanced money for plays they have yet to receive.

Jack Dillon’s Bard feels the secret to his success involves love, comedy and a dog and he is ready to prove it. The solution, to please the Queen (Angela Hunt) foremost of all, is to produce a new work “Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter.” With the puppet Spot as the dog, he doesn’t see how he could miss.

When a new thespian Thomas Kent (Erin Cessna) arrives to audition for the part of Romeo, Will determines he will hire him to play the part. Her disguise goes unnoticed. When Will discovers Thomas is really the Lady Viola, an adventurous wannabe actor, Will finds his muse and his lover all wrapped into one delightful package. Like a Cyrano, Will implores his friend Christopher to feed him words of romance.

Since Viola is about to wed Wessex (Justin Jager), the scene soon gets complicated and dangerous. Mauricio Miranda’s Marlowe soon pays the price for friendship while the Lord Chamberlain (Guiesseppe jones) exercise his powers to make sure all the theaters are permanently closed.

Vincent Tycer directs this peek into the world of the Bard, with music by Paddy Cunneen, on a set designed by Morgan Shea, with costumes designed by Brittny Mahan, sound by Katie Salerno and lighting by Samuel J Biondolillo. Credit for Spot the dog goes to Felicia Cooper.

For tickets (10-33), call 860-486-2113 or online at crt.uconn.edu. Performances continue December 4th to 8th, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m. , Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Listen to the man whose words were destined to be immortal, laced with truth and as much bawdy as blessed.

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