Chicago Shakes Begins Season with Shrew

News   Chicago Shakes Begins Season with Shrew Don't tell Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and director David H. Bell that the Bard's The Taming of the Shrew is set in Padua. Bell has shifted the action several hundred miles south to the Italian capital of Rome—more specifically the Via Veneto of The Eternal City's "La Dolce Vita" 1950s.

Subscribers to the stalwart Windy City company should expect to encounter denizens of swank Roman society and the paparazzi that follow them. The design of the production will be drawn from the Rome filmmaker Federico Fellini portrayed in his films of the 1950s and 1960s.

A couple Chicago favorites will embody the lead roles: Kate Fry will play Kate (the Giulietta Masina role?), while Ryan Shively is the shrew-taming, Marcello Mastroianni-like Petruchio .

Performances begin Sept. 5 for a run through Nov. 23.

Also in the cast are Guy Adkins as Tranio; Donald Brearley as Pendant; Chaon Cross as Bianca; Marlene Flood as Widow; Neil Friedman as Vincentio; James Harms as Gremio; Ross Lehman as Grumio; Daniel May as Lucentio; Roger Mueller as Baptista; Gene Weygandt as Biondello; Dave Belden, Cliff Chamberlain, Leslie De La O, Andy Gershenzon, Michael F. Goldberg, Joshua Holden, Matthew Krause, Sharon Muthu, Jim Slonina, Tom Tailor and Barbara Zahora.

* The 2003-2004 subscription series will also feature Edward Hall's adaptation of the Henry VI trilogy, entitled Rose Rage; The Molière Comedies, directed by and starring Brian Bedford; and Shakespeare’s King John, helmed by the theatre's artistic director, Barbara Gaines.

As previously reported, the season will also include A Little Night Music Dec. 23, 2003-Feb. 15, 2004. The Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical will be directed by Gary Griffin, who also helmed the company's two other Sondheim productions: Sunday in the Park with George and Pacific Overtures. Casting has yet to be announced.

Other upcoming productions at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater include mountings of Do Not Go Gentle, a one-man show about the life of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (May 1-4); and the Peter Brook-directed The Suit, about apartheid-era Sophiatown (June 10-July 6).

For more information about the theatre, call (312) 595-5600 or visit www.chicagoshakes.com.