Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, 11/27-1/3/2010

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company rings in the holiday season with a Hollywood treatment of William Shakespeare's classic comedy THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, featuring Hayley Clark and Christopher Guthrie and directed by Associate Artistic Director Matt Johnson.

Director Matt Johnson is excited to bring this new production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW to the stage. "We chose to place this SHREW in Hollywood because so much of Shakespeare's play is about illusion," he explains. "Multiple characters wear disguises, fake identities, or engage in play-acting to get what they want. The only person who is real and honest is Kate, and no one knows how to deal with her, until Petruchio comes along." On a Tinseltown studio backlot, Shakespeare's zany characters become a mash-up of famous Hollywood icons from the silent film era through the early fifties. "Older audiences will recognize with delight favorite images and references, while younger audiences will enjoy the sharp physical comedy and whipped cream pie fights," quips Johnson.

Young starlet Bianca (Lauren Shiveley) can have her pick of suitors, but not until her older sister, Kate (Hayley Clark), has been married off. Unfortunately, the combative and outspoken Kate has earned a reputation as a real Shrew, and no man wants anything to do with her. Enter the dashing and confident Petruchio (Christopher Guthrie), a fading matinee idol eager to marry for money, who finds his match in the feisty Kate. Kate's father Baptista (Jim Hopkins) agrees to the match, and Petruchio decides to "tame" Kate, but finds himself falling in love with her. Meanwhile, Bianca is courted by the wealthy, elderly Gremio (Andy Gaukel) whose fortunes are most attractive to her father. In order to compete, young Lucentio (Kristopher Stoker) convinces his friend Tranio (Jeremy Dubin) to pretend to be him and outbid Gremio, while the real Lucentio cozies up to Bianca disguised as a tutor. As the games are revealed and players are unmasked, this madcap comedy comes to a rollicking and ultimately romantic conclusion.

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW features Resident Company members Hayley Clark and Christopher Guthrie as Shakespeare's sparring lovers. Playing the role of Kate, Ms. Clark returns for a fifth season with the company, having recently played Ophelia in HAMLET and Louka in ARMS AND THE MAN. Some of Mr. Guthrie's roles over the last nine years at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company include Bertram in ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL, Bottom in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Richard in THE LION IN WINTER, Romeo in ROMEO & JULIET, and Mozart in AMADEUS. The cast also includes Resident Artists Jeremy Dubin as Tranio, Jim Hopkins as Baptista Minola, Josh Stamoolis as Hortensio, Sara Clark as Biondello, Billy Chace as Grumio, Lauren Shiveley as Bianca, and members of the CSC Young Company.

Melissa Bennett's set design for THE TAMING OF THE SHREW takes us to the fictional Hollywood backlot of Minola Studios, where iconic images from classic films collide in a hilarious mash-up. Costumes designed by Resident Costume Designer Heidi Jo Schiemer will wink at favorite Hollywood stars ranging from Lillian Gish and Rudolph Valentino to Gene Autry and the Marx Brothers. CSC Resident Lighting Designer Sara Watson and CSC Resident Sound Designer Christopher Guthrie complete the production design with a treasure trove of silly sound effects and "movie" magic.

Performances of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW are scheduled Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:00pm beginning November 27th and continuing through January 3rd, with additional matinees on Saturday, December 19th, December 26th and January 2nd. Preview performances are scheduled Tuesday, November 24th, and Wednesday, November 25th at 7:30pm. No performances on Thanksgiving Day (November 26th), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (December 24th and 25th) or New Year's Day (January 1st.) Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center.

Ticket prices range from $20-$26. Preview tickets are $12. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are accepted. Discounts are available for students, and group discounts are available for any group with six people or more. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273), or visit us online at tickets.cincyshakes.com.

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages. Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces eight main stage productions each season at its home on Race Street. CSC employs a resident company of actors and artists who live and work in Cincinnati year-round and perform on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors' Equity Association.

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