Dakin Matthews will portray Falstaff in the Old Globe's production of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, starting previews Aug. 29 and opening Sept. 4 in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. Roger Rees, who won a Tony Award on Broadway for his performance in Nicholas Nickleby and who has also served as co-artistic director of the Bristol Old Vic, is the director. The run is through Oct. 9.
Others in the cast include Jordan Baker, Bix Bettwy, Tom Beyer, Ron Campbell, Jane Carr, Peter Clendenin, Arthur Hanket, Thomas Michael Fiss, J. Taylor Heinemann, Joe Jordan, Benjamin Livingston, Jonathan McMurty, Caitlin Muelder, Rob Nagle, Tom Ramirez, Baylen Thomas, Dierk Torek, Rick von Schnier and David Wells.
Matthews recently appeared at the Globe in Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV and Coriolanus. He is an associate artist at the theatre.
The Merry Wives is a comic morality tale in which the philandering Falstaff gets his comeuppance from two cunning wives. Rees has placed the production in contemporary Windsor, Ontario.
In recent months, Rees has turned to directing more and more. Earlier this summer, he starred in and directed The Taming of the Shrew at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. The production featured Bebe Neuwirth as Kate. Rees is presently an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London. He appeared in the RSC's productions of Hamlet, Love's Labour's Lost and The Three Sisters. The Lowell Davies Festival Theatre is located in Balboa Park. For tickets and information call (619) 239-2255.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent