Last Chance: Updated DC Merry Wives Ends May 10

News   Last Chance: Updated DC Merry Wives Ends May 10
 
Daniel Fish's updated version of The Merry Wives of Windsor finishes its scheduled run May 10 after starting previews Mar. 24 and opening Mar. 29. Set in a 1955 Adirondack resort, this staging of William Shakespeare's comedy still concerns the travails of two wives who have each received identical love letters from Sir John Falstaff (David Sabin). Co-starring are Evalyn Baron as Mistress Page, Melissa Gallagher as Mistress Ford, Edward Gero as Master Page, Floyd King as Master Ford and Franchelle Stewart Dorn as Mistress Quickly. Everett Quinton, head of NY's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, plays Dr. Caius.

Daniel Fish's updated version of The Merry Wives of Windsor finishes its scheduled run May 10 after starting previews Mar. 24 and opening Mar. 29. Set in a 1955 Adirondack resort, this staging of William Shakespeare's comedy still concerns the travails of two wives who have each received identical love letters from Sir John Falstaff (David Sabin). Co-starring are Evalyn Baron as Mistress Page, Melissa Gallagher as Mistress Ford, Edward Gero as Master Page, Floyd King as Master Ford and Franchelle Stewart Dorn as Mistress Quickly. Everett Quinton, head of NY's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, plays Dr. Caius.

Daniel Fish will direct an updated version of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Mar. 24-May 10, opening Mar. 29. Set in a 1955 Adirondack resort, this staging of Windsor still concerns the travails of two wives who have each received identical love letters from Sir John Falstaff (David Sabin). Co-starring are Evalyn Baron as Mistress Page, Melissa Gallagher as Mistress Ford, Edward Gero as Master Page, Floyd King as Master Ford and Franchelle Stewart Dorn as Mistress Quickly. Everett Quinton, head of NY's Ridiculous Theatrical Company, plays Dr. Caius.

Why did director Fish set Windsor in '50s America? "[It was] a time when historical force and human need came together and created new art, new music and new ideas about sex and marriage," he says. "The changes were reflected in how people danced, how they dressed, how they spent their money."

Designing Merry Wives are James Kronzer (set), Kay Voyce (costumes) and Scott Zielinski (lighting). Sound design is by Red Ramona (the professional name of Andy Tallon & Adam Wolfensohn). Peter Pucci wil create the show's musical staging.

For tickets ($13.50-$49.50) and information on The Merry Wives of Windsor call (202) 393-2700. *

Another season highlight at Shakespeare Theatre is likely to be a revival of Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird Of Youth, starring Elizabeth Ashley. Artistic director Michael Kahn, who directed Ashley in the 1974 Broadway revival of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, will stage the 1959 work about a fading actress being used by an ambitious conman on a downward spiral. Ashley's other Broadway credits include Take Her She's Mine, Caesar And Cleopatra, Barefoot In The Park and the 1995 Broadway revival of Suddenly Last Summer. Kahn's directing credits include the Williams plays A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie and Camino Real. Sweet Bird Of Youth plays May 26-July 12, with an official opening May 31 and a "Gala Opening" the following night.

Also part of the season will be the eighth annual "Shakespeare Theatre Free For All," featuring Kelly McGillis playing Helena in All's Well That Ends Well. Other programs include "Meet The Cast" presentations, "Afterwords" discussions, and the in-school program, "Text Alive!".

Members of the Shakespeare Ensemble include the aforementioned actors, as well as Emery Battis and Edward Gero. Artistic director Kahn is especially proud of the new season because it's the first time the company will have a five-play season: "Our audience will now have the chance to see a wider repertory of great classics."

Subscriptions to Shakespeare Theatre range from $55 to $245 (there are also "Young Theatregoer" subscriptions available for $34-$190). For information call (202) 547-1122.

-- By David Lefkowitz

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