Innvar and Woodard Will Lock Horns in DC Taming of the Shrew

News   Innvar and Woodard Will Lock Horns in DC Taming of the Shrew The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC, will begin its 2007-08 season Sept. 25 with The Taming of the Shrew, featuring Christopher Innvar as Petruchio and Tony Award nominee Charlayne Woodard as Kate.
Christopher Innvar will join the cast of 110 in the Shade
Christopher Innvar will join the cast of 110 in the Shade

Shakespeare's comedy about marriage and money is directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman. Performances will continue to Nov. 18 at the Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th St. NW, part of the Harman Center for the Arts.

Innvar recently played File in Broadway's 110 in the Shade; Woodard is a Tony Award nominee for Ain't Misbehavin' and has written and performed her own solo plays, Neat, Pretty Fire and In Real Life.

The cast includes Lisa Birnbaum (as Bianca), Aubrey Deeker (Hortensio), Michael Milligan (Lucentio) and J. Fred Shiffman (Gremio).

In Padua, the wealthy Baptista Minola declares that no one will marry his daughter Bianca until a husband is secured for her older, ill-tempered sister, Katherina. Petruchio, who seeks only affluence in a wife, agrees to marry Kate without giving second thought to her raving personality. Once they are married, Petruchio steals Kate away and attempts to tame her by denying her food and rest and by challenging her with mind games. Meanwhile, Bianca's suitors find themselves free to woo her, and though Lucentio ultimately wins Bianca heart, Baptista will not approve the match until a financial agreement is confirmed by Lucentio's father, Vincentio.

"The Taming of the Shrew is controversial," director Rebecca Bayla Taichman said in production notes. "It's a critique of a culture gone blind with materialism, and a portrait of sexism and violent love. It's a play about characters dealing with very real domestic issues. My hope is that by performing this play we will spark a debate as feverish as Kate and Petruchio in their most heated and passionate fight." The cast also includes Drew Eshelman as a pedant of Mantua and a haberdasher, Bill Hamlin as Vincentio and a tailor, Nicholas Hormann as Baptista Minola, Brandon Miller as Grumio, Bruce Nelson as Tranio, Erika Rose as a Widow and Curtis; Todd Scofield as Biondello and ensemble members Wyckham Avery, Andy English, Sean Fraser and Nick Vienna.

The creative team also includes set designer Narelle Sissons, costume designer Miranda Hoffman, sound designers Daniel Baker and Ryan Rumery, lighting designer Robert Wierzel, voice and text coach Deena Burke and choreographer Sean Curran.

Opening is Oct. 4. For more information, visit www.ShakespeareTheatre.org.