Theatre Review: The Taming Of The Shrew

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(Sand Harbor, NV)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

(Wedding march)

There’s a wedding in this play, overlooking the blue waters of Lake Tahoe. But as the reluctant bride Kate notes, there’s no wedding feast.

“What, did he marry me to famish me?”

New husband Petruchio rejects every dish that comes to the table. This is crazy, of course. But having married a famously argumentative woman, he plans to demonstrate that he’s in charge.

(“She ate no meat today…)

Some feminists are infuriated by this play. But, really, “Shrew” is problematic only insofar as the so-called taming is taken literally. And director Scott Gilbert doesn’t take anything seriously in this highly physical, irreverent production. Corny jokes are followed by a kicker (sound), things get tossed in the water (sound), and the whole cast gets bowled over (sound). Amidst all this flat-out silliness, the combative relationship between Kate and Petruchio is just one ridiculous development. There’s even a directorial flourish at the end, in which Gilbert has the women in the cast give old Shakespeare a piece of their minds.

"The Taming of the Shrew" plays at the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival through August 19th.