The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0339  Friday, 10 April 1998.

From:           Jimmy Jung <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 09 Apr 1998 17:07 -0500
Subject:        Merry Wives of DC, Franchelle Stewart Dorn

I've been the worst kind of lurker, with unread messages dating back to

However, I wanted to mention that Merry Wives is a The Shakespeare
Theatre in Washington DC.  They play it very broad, as I believe it
should be.  It has been staged in the fifties, set in a resort like the
one from the movie Dirty Dancing.  David Sabin is Falstaff, as he was a
few years back for Henry IV and it is interesting to see how one actor
deals with Falstaff's changes between the two plays.  I thought it was
very funny, but not as funny as my mom thought it was.  She swears it's
the most hilarious thing she's seen in years.

Almost more important, Merry Wives represents DC's last chance to see
Franchelle Stewart Dorn, before she leaves the company for Texas.  (is
there Shakespeare in Texas?)  In the current production she is a
chattering, meddling, occasionally sensual and always funny Mistress
Quickly, who seems to have a thing for young jazz musicians.  Her
Quickly commands the stage with the certainty that everything that
transpires is due solely to her intervention.  Which amazes me, in as
much as the last time I saw her she as Emilia in Othello she created a
woman so crushed, so battered by her abusive husband that without a
line, she makes  you understand how she has been diminished and could
betray her mistress out of fear.   Ms Dorn has played prophets and
peasants, queens and clowns, Cleopatra and Gertrude.  She can be so
tragically noble and so funny and I can't tell you how bummed I am that
she is leaving the DC area.  Seeing her before she leaves is one of the
best reason for catching this production.


[Editor's Note: Fran Dorn is unquestionably one of the finest classical
actors to appear on the Washington, DC, theatre scene.  I too will miss
her very much.  Hardy]

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