216-664-6064 or www.greatlakestheater.org
Opening night audience reactions to “The Merry Wives of Windsor” varied greatly. Many of the spectators generally sat in stony silence, not even giving the show the traditional Cleveland standing ovation. A group in the theatre’s rear section laughed constantly and stood at the curtain call. A fellow reviewer left at intermission stating, “I’ve never walked out of a show before!” Me? Though there were some very entertaining segments, this was not one of my favorite evenings of Shakespeare.
To see a full review of this show, read Roy Berko's blog here.
The correlations between this bizarrely updated milieu contrived by director Tracy Young and whatever it was that Shakespeare had in mind are thin at best. The audience is left bereft of any context, responding only to the most superficial of stage antics drummed up by the reasonably talented but desperate cast.
If you have never seen a Shakespearean play (especially one done by Great Lakes Theater) you simply must see The Merry Wives of Windsor. It is literally a laugh riot throughout with easy to understand dialog and situations. Get your tickets early for this is sure to be a sellout.To see a full review of this show, read Mark Horning's blog.
For silly stuff to work on stage, it has to have sharp and genuine wit, which is on display in plays such as Spamalot, Urinetown, and Avenue Q. Otherwise, it’s just a collection of old jokes lashed together loosely with mugging and forced gaiety. It's the "try to do something funny here" school of acting.
To see a full review of this show, read Christine Howey's blog Rave and Pan
Whatever the conceit, Young delivers a Shakespeare that travels at whiz-bang speed powered by pop culture riffs, broad physical comedy and modern slang. Purists might cringe, but "The Merry Wives" is hardly a sacrosanct masterpiece – legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I loved the character of Falstaff so much that she ordered the playwright to whip up another play featuring the chubby charmer in a mere 14 days.
To see a full review of this show, read Andrea Simakis' blog or visit Cleveland.com here.
It's "The Merry Wives of Windsor" but it's not Shakespeare. That's fine, but in such a reworking, one would expect half of the changes to make the play more accessible or funny. Here, gross accents obscure meaning, and there are few laughs in the show's first hour. Production concepts are clever but sadly are an experiment with "no reaction".
Click here to read the complete review at WestLife