Shakespeare in the Park

Merry Wives a Merry Romp in Central Park

Merry Wives, Jocelyn Bioh’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s bawdy comedy of laundry baskets and bedroom antics, is a significant event not because of its slight whimsy, but because it marks a return to live theater after nearly a year and a half of COVID restrictions. This first production at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater since the shuttering …

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Musical Mashups: Heels, 12th Night, Fiddler and Disco

A quartet of musical productions on and Off-Broadway mash up musical styles, time periods, and cultural perspectives. Three of these blenderizings result in diverse delight, while one produces a pulpy mess. Head Over Heels on Broadway and a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in Central Park employ Elizabethan romantic romps as their template and …

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Hail Trump: Julius Caesar in Central Park

Last summer, the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park Series unsuccessfully imposed a modern feminist slant on Taming of the Shrew by employing an all-woman cast. This year, they’ve launched the 2017 season with another contemporary take on one of the Bard’s classics with transgender casting, but this time the updating and non traditional …

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All-Female Shrew Misses the Mark

With its celebration of Elizabethan-era sexism, The Taming of the Shrew has always been a challenging production for modern audiences. In bringing the rebellious Katherina to heel, the chauvinistic Petruchio employs starvation, abuse, and possibly even rape, and is rewarded with an obedient spouse and riches from his father-in-law who essentially sells the contentious bride …

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Gloria, Significant Other Defy Expectations; Tempest Drizzles

Two new, effective Off-Broadway shows defy expectations, but in different ways. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Gloria starts out as a fairly conventional office comedy with a bunch of 20somethings bitching about their nowhere editorial-assistant job,s but then takes a bizarre turn and veers into uncharted territory. Joshua Harmon’s Significant Other at Roundabout’s Laura Pels space also covers …

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