The ever-busy repertory company, Knightsbridge Theatre, is offering four new productions in this holiday period. Opening Dec. 8 at its Pasadena location is Oliver Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, which has been re-imagined as a "Three's Company" sitcom by director Tiger Reel. Running on alternate nights in the same venue is Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well, directed by N.J. Smeets. The shows will close Jan. 7 and Jan. 14, respectively.
Featured at Knightsbridge Theatre Los Angeles, in the Silverlake district, are Gilbert and Sullivan's Ruddygore and Shakespeare's Hamlet, starring the company's artistic director, Joseph Stachura. Both of these shows will close Jan. 14.
Ruddygore has been adapted and directed by Gabrielle deCuir, who has set the piece in Hollywood circa 1939—the Golden Film Era. A local wanna-be producer has won a contest in which he'll be producer for a week. He must mount a production of Ruddygore, but soon finds out that being a Hollywood mogul ain't all it's cracked up to be. Also figuring in the off-the-wall story are such famous monsters as the Mummy, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man and the Invisible Man.
In addition to starring in Hamlet, Stachura has also done a little tinkering with the play. "Shakespeare was first and foremost an entertainer," he said. "You have to remember that more than half his audience was illiterate—the groundlings made up a very large group. He had to keep things moving, and really to connect." Stachura claims his edit is close to what Shakespeare might have selected for the educated middle class.
Knightsbridge Theatre L.A. is located at 1944 Riverside Drive. The Pasadena branch is at 35 S. Raymond in the Olde Town. For tickets and information call (626) 440-0821. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent