BWW Feature: Mash note to LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST at Quill Theatre
I love seeing Shakespeare at Agecroft Hall. Even on the muggiest nights the cool breeze seems to steal in from the river below just as the shadows fall across the courtyard stage. The seats may be uncomfortable, but they're right up close, with a splendid view of the actual timbered Tudor house brought over chunk by chunk from England.
I also adore surprises in my theatergoing. And nothing more so than when an actor I've seen before, but maybe not noticed so much, gets a chance to show an unexpected trove of charisma, adorableness, and command of the stage.
I experienced this in the summer of 2017, when Quill Theatre did "Love's Labour's Lost," a Shakespeare comedy about which I had no particular feeling. Four aristocratic bachelors take a vow of chastity; four aristocratic ladies immediately show up to provide temptation; comic side characters divert us. As always, I enjoyed watching David Janosik and Luke Schares being funny, and director James Ricks no doubt encouraged Maggie Bavolack steal all her scenes, which she expertly did.
What I did not anticipate was being captivated by Alex Johnson, who'd been in a couple of Quill shows in smaller roles. Here he had the part of Berowne, one of the bachelors. He was funny, affecting, magnetic, and he pulled off the monologue "And I, forsooth, in love" with heart-melting aplomb.
That's a big piece of theater magic for me--the unpredictable lightning strike that makes a show more than the sum of its parts.