Shakespeare in Love (review)

Shakespeare in Love (review)
Shakespeare in Love (review)
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THE PLAY: A young Shakespeare is struggling to write “Romeo and Juliet” until he meets the beautiful woman who inspires him. Based on the film of the same name.

 

THE PRODUCTION: Director Jen Wineman has mounted a grandly-staged, appropriately-stylized production. One where the technical elements and the overall presentation is first rate. The supporting actors range from comically fun (a quietly hilarious Chandler Matkins) to dynamic (pompously villainous Joseph Bromfield and slyly imposing Susan Sanford) to less effective (a tritely-effeminate Randy Risher and sadly unfunny stuttering Levi Meerovich). Then it comes to the leading actors: While Brandon Carter bounds about with energy, he lacks the authority to command the proceedings. To compound matters, the chemistry with Betsy Struxness, as his eager paramour, never takes hold. The first act is vigorous, but it’s not til Act 2 that the action coalesces into a compelling narrative. Sandy Dacus has guided the beautifully-sung musical interludes with lovely simplicity. Ron Keller’s imposing wooden Tudor-style structure revolves to feature various locales, although the constant turning in Act 2 is sometimes a bit clunky. BJ Wilkinson’s lights add depth and texture, while Aaron Mastin has created rich, appropriately luxurious costumes. Running time: 2:27

 

THE POINT: While staged in a majestic manner and acted by a mostly-effective cast, the two leads don’t bring the out the “love” in this production.

 

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

 

At Virginia Rep‘s November Theatre thru 10/8

 

LISTEN TO MY REVIEW (as aired on WRIR)

 

Betsy Struxness, Brandon Carter, Joseph Bromfield, Levi Meerovich

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