Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR • St. Louis Shakespeare

In the latest production from St. Louis Shakespeare, Mistresses Ford and Page are up to mischief in Windsor.

Sir John Falstaff (Martin Casey) is broke when he visits Windsor, and plans to woo Mistresses Ford and Page (Suki Peters & Jamie Marble) to get at the wallets of their husbands.  Fellas, if you're gonna write a nearly identical love letter to two women, make sure they don't find out about it, please.  That's the mistake Falstaff makes.  Once the Mistresses find out, they are bent on making a fool of him -- not really a difficult task.  Master Page (Chris Jones) doesn't give this buffoon much thought, but Master Ford (Ben Ritchie ) is jealous like crazy, so he disguises himself as "Master Brook" to try to get to the bottom of the "Fat Knight" and exactly what his intentions are.  Mistresses Ford and Page have a great time causing Falstaff to endure all kinds of humiliation as payment for his sloppy flirtations -- everything from being submerged in a filthy mess of smelly laundry to being poked and prodded by the local townsfolk.  Poor Falstaff.  In the end though, everything turns out fairly well.

Suki Peters (Mistress Ford) and Jamie Marble (Mistress Page).
Photo credit: Kim Carlson
This play may not be known as Shakespeare's best, but once it finally takes off (which takes a while), it's an enjoyable little romp.  There's a synopsis in the program book, which is helpful for those who may not be all that familiar with the plot.  *Points at self*…

This production, directed by Todd Pieper, was bolstered by a top-notch cast all around.  Suki Peters and Jamie Marble were a joy to watch as Mistresses Ford and Page.  Emily Adams was another standout as Mistress Quickly along with Ben Ritchie as the jealous Master Ford and Martin Casey as Sir John Falstaff.  Jennifer "JC" Krajicek's costumes were absolutely beautiful and there was nice work by James E. Slover's lighting and Cristie Johnston's scenic design.  Shakespeare lovers will want to check this one out for a nice production.


Martin Casey (Sir John Falstaff) and
Suki Peters (Mistress Ford).
Photo credit: Kim Carlson

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Todd Pieper
Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square
through July 24 | tickets: $15 - $25
Performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Thursday at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2pm

Cast:
Suki Peters (Mistress Ford), Ben Ritchie (Master Ford), Jamie Marble (Mistress Page), Marissa Barnathan (Anne Page), Chris Jones (Master Page), Casey Boland (Doctor Caius), Emily Adams (Mistress Quickly), Phillip Dixon (John Rugby), Paul Devine (Sir Hugh Evans), Carl Overly (Host of the Garter), Martin Casey (Sir John Falstaff), Ruman Kazi (Nym), Austin Pierce (Fenton), Tim Callahan (Shallow), Ben Watts (Slender), John Wolbers (Pistol), Joshua Nash Payne (Simple) and Emily Jackoway (Robin).

Creative:
Costume design by Jennifer "JC" Krajicek; scenic design by Cristie Johnston; lighting design by James E. Slover; stage manager, Lydia Crandall.

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