We don't mean to bite our thumbs at the Shakespeare's entire body of work, but let's face facts: some of The Bard's plays can be rather staid and boring (even in the hands of Baz Luhrman). But the Shakespeare Festival/LA has the antidote to our short attention spans and disinterest in anything ultra-historical. Last year they staged A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a jazzy '20s setting. This year, they go very L.A. for Taming of the Shrew. For starters, they put the play's protagonists, the lovers Kate and Petruchio, in a car. On a roadtrip.
(Since I am now officially an old with a bad memory, I consulted the Cliff’s Notes online—yes, they are online now!— to brush up on the Bard’s play. According to Cliff, “Shrew” is one of his earliest comedies, dating to around the late 1580s. Bianca is in love with Lucentio, but because her sister Kate, is “so forward and unruly” their father refuses to let suitors in the house until she is married off. Thus begins Petruchio’s witty, wordplay-driven courtship.)
The particularly Los Angeles twist to the somewhat sexist play is described as “high-octane,” “full-throttle” and “off-road,” in the company’s press release, but thankfully, the words, “crash-and-burn” don’t appear. You spend all day in your car, what’s a few more hours?
Previews open tonight. Seating begins at 6:30. Bring non-perishable food or cash for general admission. Visit www.FreeWillLA.org or call the Box Office at (213) 975-9891 for tickets and information.