Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer theater preview

Posted By on Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge WET WILLIES: Dad's Garage drags out the fun at an improv night. The theater stages Spoon, The Musical this summer
  • WET WILLIES: Dad's Garage drags out the fun at an improv night. The theater stages Spoon, The Musical this summer

Atlanta's summer theatrical offerings skew toward the very new and the very old. The distinction between the two isn't always obvious, given that the summer of 2010 features two productions of Shakespeare plays reimagined as lighthearted musicals.

Georgia Shakespeare launches its 25th anniversary season June 9 with Shrew: The Musical, John R. Briggs and Dennis West's 1993 musicalization of the famed battle of the sexes between manly Petruchio (Joe Knezevich) and fiery Kate (Park Krausen). This singing, dancing Shrew takes place in 1930s Palm Beach, justifying the Jazz Age/Cole Porter quality of the songs and period costumes. I greatly enjoyed the company's 1999 yuletide-themed remount, Shrew the Holiday Musical.

Georgia Shakespeare's other summer plays include the lyrical but relatively low-key comedy Love's Labour's Lost (June 24-Aug. 6), featuring Brad Sherrill and Carolyn Cook. A scholarly prince and his courtiers plan to spend a year in quiet reflection free of romantic entanglements — until a group of lovely ladies moves in next door. The company rounds out its three-play repertory with King Lear (July 8-Aug. 7), starring Tim McDonough as the aging English king whose poor parenting tears England apart. Warning: Even among Shakespearean tragedies, King Lear is the depressing one.

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(Photo by Lindsay Elise Lipton)

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