The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0347  Tuesday, 22 February 2005

From:           Richard Burt <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 21 Feb 2005 10:49:14 -0500
Subject:        Wherefore Art Thou Ferdinand?


February 21, 2005
Wherefore Art Thou Ferdinand?

The Jean Cocteau Repertory presented a lightning-paced production of
"Romeo and Juliet" last fall at the Bouwerie Lane Theater, and now, for
equal measure, we get the German version in Schiller's "Intrigue and
Love." Some stereotypes ring true: the German play is more humorless
than its English counterpart. But that celebrated efficiency? Well,
"lightning-paced" doesn't really apply here.

This is an early Schiller play, between his successful 1782 debut, "The
Robbers," and his more mature "Don Carlos." His star-crossed lovers are
Ferdinand von Walter (Chad A. Suitts), the son of a scheming minister in
a prince's court, and Louisa Miller (Natalie Ballesteros), daughter of a
mere music teacher.

On the advice of his sleazy secretary, Ferdinand's father hatches all
sorts of plans to break the lovers apart, plans that, of course, lead to
duels, death and some ripped drapes. But it takes a long time to get
there, nearly three hours, and there is a lot of explaining to do along
the way. Almost all the actors have a tough time rooting through Lynn
Marie Macy's wordy new translation, though there are a few real truffles
there, echoes of Shakespeare and some elegant phrases of Schiller's own.

[ . . . ]

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