Cal. Shakespeare Festival

Performance of Shrew--10/11/94


Triangulating Shakespeare
  1. Notes on Cal. Shakespeare Festival Performance of Shrew--10/11/94
    1. Staging
      1. set: moon, lighting, curved runway with gap, lights as bowler hats; abstract and pleasing
      2. music: Kurt Weil, carnival
      3. atmosphere and setting: 1900's carnival--clown show
      4. Costumes: buffalo bill and lady acrobats in tutus, along with bowler hats, eton jackets for students, Baptista in a shriners hat--all pants as bloomers with ruffled cuffs; three stooges, vaudedville, burlesque
      5. silly props--atomiser, confetti, sprayer, jumps and falls--
      6. Movement: acrobatic and mimelike plus clownshow; Lucen tio jumping on trunk, etc.
  2. but what happened to Petruchio Kate scene--did they leave out the acrobatics?--started with a danced upon first meeting and then lost it
    1. Characters
      1. Black Lucentio--great enthusiasm, funny business about recognition and exchange; looks good in black robe as cambio; also as horsey set Eton boy--mixed stereotypes--farce
        1. Tickles Tranio, boys will be boys
        2. Lucentio moons--music
      2. Gremio--thin and asthmatic--cruel humor; also stutterer
      3. Baptista: cigar and fez
      4. Hortensio as faggot--Tranio makes fun of both of them as sillies
      5. Biondello--little house on prairie and surfer dude combo; carrying luggage; lots of luggage jokes
      6. Petruchio as buffalo bill and hells angel
        1. Italian greeting hilarious, from the script; knocking at gate; knockabout three stooges routine
      7. Kate in hiking boots and tutu--body language of strength as aerobic girl or cowgirl--annie oakley
    2. Effects
      1. cymbals for bashing--no hurts
      2. the waiting scene at wedding; intermission--good stuff
      3. Biondello stealing air time, everybody doing that
      4. Petruchio's house as Adams family gothic humor; slapstick run amok--featuring Grumio effectively and Curtis as tour de force
      5. the horses--funny and effective--during the "moon sun scene" the idea of illusion from the Induction comes in; horse is what you say it is; young virgin is what you say it is
    3. V,i staging
      1. Biondello in front; Gremio in back; Petruchio and Kate watching
      2. Vincentio not strong enough--new energy needed; Pedant tried but not funny enough; reconciliation with children not emphatic enough
      3. Big Kiss in street
    4. V,ii Final party scene
      1. Ensemble
      2. Gumio's goose step
      3. Kate in 'fifties outfit
      4. She seems brainwashed and washed out
      5. Emphasis of scene on her and her new strength--really preachy; no way around it--they dont do much; throw it away; uncomfortable for audience
      6. Petruchio all cleaned up from Act IV, not very crazy anymore; very deliberate; dressed in tuxedo at end, Mr. Respectable
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