Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Love's Labour's Lost 

An overwrought production of Shakespeare's overwrought comedy

Wednesday, Sep 10 2003
Kenneth Kelleher's overwrought outdoor production of Shakespeare's overwrought comedy plays on a stage decorated with classical Italian statues and a California poppy. The kingdom of Navarre is meant to be in Basque country, between France and Spain, but Kelleher has moved it to modern, Fellini-era Italy (with a nod to California, where ladies from France were just as likely to run around wearing kerchiefs and white-rimmed sunglasses). The story lends itself to such light, effervescent treatment: It's about four noblemen (the king of Navarre and three lords) swearing off romance and other soft comforts until four irresistible Frenchwomen turn up on a diplomatic mission. One by one, the men are forced to admit their love, while the Spaniard Don Adriano de Armado provides comic relief by wooing a wild peasant girl named Jacquenetta. Hector Correa exaggerates all of Armado's lines to hilarious effect ("Be still, drum," Armado says to his own heart, "for your manager is ... in ... LUFF"), but the rest of the cast can't match his talent for broad humor, and seems a bit stodgy by comparison. The major exception is Chris Ayles, who shows that filling every nuance in Shakespeare's lines -- even with a pedantic character like Holofernes, the schoolmaster -- is a much better strategy than over-the-top farce for making Elizabethan English clear to the masses on a sunny day in the park.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"