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The Merry Wives of Windsor, or the Amorous Adventures of the Comical Knight Sir John Falstaff

ENID SPITZ
7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through March 4., Sunday March 24 | $18-$26.
Venetian Theatre
253 E Main St., Hillsboro
 
Bag & Baggage’s Merry Wives of Windsor begins with a tap-dancing pack of cigarettes, an outrageous opener even for the bawdy bard. But this Merry Wives isn’t Shakespeare. It’s a 1647 rewrite by unsung playwright John Dennis, reimagined by director Scott Palmer as a 1950s black-and-white television show. Think I Love Lucy, slapstick shticks and circle skirts, with Shakespearean vernacular. The production goes full-throttle '50s with comedic overacting, a flashing applause sign and cheesy product placement (as one character pauses to pull out a pack of Old Gold cigarettes, he touts them as “a treat instead of a treatment”). But Falstaff and the cuckolds of Windsor are Shakespearean as ever, as two young lovers hatch a marriage plot and the merry mistresses fall into their own amorous caper. Michael Kutner’s irritating overacting distracts, but when done well this reinvention is delightfully entertaining. Gary Strong impressively balances ye olde comedie and retro melodrama as the famously fat seducer. Who knew the 1950s and the 1500s would make such a good pair?

Where: Venetian Theatre
Phone: 345-9590
Address: 253 E Main St., Hillsboro
Website: https://app.ticketturtle.com/index.php?show=26989

 
 

Venetian Theatre

253 E Main St., Hillsboro
Hillsboro, Ore.
 
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