The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0432. Tuesday, 8 April 1997.
Date: Monday, 07 Apr 1997 20:56:31 -0400
Subject: Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's Love's Labour's Lost
Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival's production of <italic>Love's Labour's
Lost</italic> opened at the Aronoff Center in downtown Cincinnati on
March 28 and closes April 20. Shows begin at 8:00 PM, and there are
Saturday matinees at 2:00. For more information, call 513.559.0642.
I saw the show last Saturday afternoon, and the audience loved it. The
show was peppered with spontaneous laughter and applause. The audience
generally seemed to understand the jokes, though Dull's comment on not
understanding a word (5.1.147 Bevington) got the loudest laugh.
The stage is shaped like a chevron, and runs diagonally across the
auditorium-north and south. On the north end of the stage is a gate made
of books, closed with an insubstantial chain, at the south end a
flower-decorated swing. In the middle, at either side of the stage, are
two benches made of books. The time is vaguely in the 1920s, though I
had originally thought "Edwardian."
The show begins when the three reprobate lords, William Sweeney
(Longaville), Richard Kelly (Dumain), and Nicholas Rose (Berowne), begin
to put away their toys and vices. Charles Scheeren (Navarre) enters like
a prissy schoolmaster-and the fun begins. Berowne is especially
powerful-and the audience loved him. Jim Stump as Dull is the locale
sheriff, and Costard (Colby Codding) is a college student who has much
to learn-in this production.
Chris Reeder, the tallest member of the cast, plays a Don Quixote-like
Armado, while Moth is played by Marni Penning-perhaps the shortest
member of the cast. They are an excellent team.
Kristin Chase is perfect as Jaquenetta-sexy and parodic. (She later
doubles as Mercade.) She can do what the girls of France cannot do-leap
at whatever man she wants. And in this production she does this
The girls of France (Toni Brotons as the Princess, Nicole Franklin-Kern
as Maria, Lisa Penning as Katharine, and Regina Cerimele as Rosaline)
are dressed as fashionable Parisian beauties should be-and the audience
does not have to suspend disbelief when the boys of Navarre fall in love
with them immediately. Boyet (Jim Stump again) is the officious
Dan Kenny is Holofernes (and provides the music as court musician) and
Khris Lewin plays a dottering Nathaniel. They are perfect.
This show has really come together. I loved it, and I recommend it to
Yours, Bill Godshalk