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Shakespeare on the Common

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Taming of the Shrew, Boston style

I went to go see Shakespeare in the Park last night on the Boston Common. It was The Taming of the Shrew. It was thoroughly enjoyable! I mean, really funny and really good! I’ve seen Shakespeare in the Park before (in other cities), but none have ever been this fun or entertaining.

The set was made to look like the Italian district of Boston (the North End), and the cast adopted Boston and New York accents, which were delightful. Despite the wordy old-style English that sort characterizes my view of Shakespeare plays, the actors did a fantastic job of bringing meaning and life to the dialog–which is not always the case when I see Shakespeare performed.

Usually, I think actors or people expect Shakespeare to be a certain kind of way; old, established, the Pinnacle of Theater. So the actors often act “Shakespearean” and the audience views “a Shakespeare play”. It’s like they’re not even performing or acting a specific play, they’re acting a particular method. It’s like the actual story is secondary to the idea of the style. Which, for me, in the past, has translated into some really boring theater.

What was great about this performance, is that the modern set (circa 1950s), the references to Boston, and the modern accents displaced the Shakespearean affectation. The actors did an amazing job gleaned all meaning, jokes and relatability out of their lines. Overall, I think this was really what Shakespeare intended: a play for The People.

Not to mention, I never realized how many sex jokes are in The Taming of the Shrew!

Go see it if you can, it’s going until August 13. And, it’s FREE.

Another photo of the stage, with the city in for scale. My camera battery died last night, so I wasn’t able to take any pictures of mine own, so these were filched from Flickr.


Currently listening to Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd


Written by pocheco

August 9, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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