BWW Review: THE CURATE SHAKESPEARE AS YOU LIKE IT - A Silly Take On The Bard

BWW Review: THE CURATE SHAKESPEARE AS YOU LIKE IT - A Silly Take On The Bard

The Baron's Men are well known for their faithful presentations of the works of William Shakespeare. They have, for years, treated the Bard's plays with a fulsome reverence, including strict adherence to Elizabethan period costume and traditional interpretation of material. This production is an abrupt about-face.

THE CURATE SHAKESPEARE AS YOU LIKE IT by prolific playwright, Don Nigro, is anything but reverent and pushes the envelope of silly, campy fun. The premise presents a theatrical company that is short a few players. There are only seven actors to cover some 27 roles is just the first obstacle they must overcome. Never fear their dear leader, the Curate (Andy Bond), has a plan, everyone must play multiple parts (after all this is the show with Shakespeare's famous, "All the world's a stage" speech). This makes for some fast costume changes, silly voices and prompting from other actors, but they finally get a good deal of the story in two acts. If you're looking for the deeper meaning that Shakespeare infuses his comedies with, look somewhere else, this show is pure fluff. But the madness is infectious and the audience gleefully enjoyed every moment.

Director Kate Clark has chosen an excellent cast who can keep up with the fast paced insanity. Her blocking is excellent, and she keeps the outrageous confusion of the script to a controllable level. Cast standouts include Andy Bond as the mostly calm center of the whirlwind. Bond is a pleasure to watch, no matter what the role. Nathan Daniel Ford is excellent as far too many characters to count. The same is true of Shannon Dodson who mostly plays Rosalind, but plays the character named Audrey. Confused? I do recommend that if you go, you may want to scan the Cliff's Notes version of AS YOU LIKE IT to keep the characters at least semi straight. My only reservations with the production lie with the script. Not the best written spoof of Shakespeare certainly, the show is nonetheless fun and full of laugh out loud moments; however it lacks cohesion and tends to go off course a bit, but the result is so silly it matters little. The Curtain Theatre is beautiful any time of year, but during Spring, the venue is especially magical with the cool breeze over the Colorado River and the lit torches flickering in Austin's 'wooden O'. I urge you to go early, take a picnic, the beverage of your choice and enjoy the most seriously silly Shakespeare under the heavens.

THE CURATE SHAKESPEARE AS YOU LIKE IT
by Don Nigro
Directed by Kate Clark
The Baron's Men at The Curtain Theatre
7400 Coldwater Canyon Dr, Austin

Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes with one 15 minute intermission

Tickets: $15.00 - $10.00 TheBaronsMen.org

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From This Author Lynn Beaver

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