Only through April 9 . . . rarely produced Shakespeare play Double Falsehood at Irondale, Brooklyn (easy to get to, near BAM) . . . Theatre company: Letter of Marque . . . Never heard of them or the play? That’s about to change . . . Word is getting out: Friday audience made up of those from Fiasco Theatre, whose recent The Two Gentlemen of Verona was a hit with press and public at the Polonsky (Theatre for a New Audience) . . . The two plays are bookends: Two Gents, written at the beginning of Shakespeare’s career; Double Falsehood, probably at the end . . . The latter has only recently entered the canon (earlier it was thought to be a fake); Two Gentlemen (circa 1589), never thought to be the Bard’s finest hour, was given charming, legit feminist take by Fiasco with informality and folk music; now Letter of Marque–also using unsuspected musical styles and clever, informal devices–makes a case for Falsehood, darker, deeper than the earlier text; both still have problems with their endings—but never mind . . . What’s in common? Dumb, young men on their way to life at court, pining lovers, love letters, a woman disguised as a man . . . and rape. Falsehood grapples more fully with the latter subject, with traumatized young heroine, Violante, a Spanish peasant girl—source for the play is Cervantes’s Don Quixote . . . Poppy Liu, plays the role with surgical precision—theatregoers, please take notice: Good Woman of Szechuan, Caucasion Chalk Circle, cannot be far behind . . . Adam Huff, in a prodigal sonlike role, very emotive, committed to the moment . . . Zach Libresco and Montana Lampert Hoover, no slacker juvenilia . . . working hard, complete interpretations . . . Welland H. Scripps, stealth part, creeping up on the proceedings, owning them by evening’s end . . . All around, very clean, very clear work . . . clowns and character roles: Nolan Kennedy, Ariel Estrada, Scarlet Maressa Rivera, Tom Giordano, all in order . . . classical acting with purity of conviction and technique, up very close to the audience for those who want Shakespeare comedy beyond the laffs . . . all in a church in Brooklyn (drinks are served) . . . interesting moment: Line: “These sirens lure us to destruction,” after hearing live sirens outside . . . Think about it: Where else and when exactly are you going to get a chance to see this play again? …Great action sword fight, sudden slow-mo with in-sync sound effects (fight director, Michael C. Toomey) . . . mod Louis XIV gowns: Claire Townsend and reconfiguring set: Steven Brenman . . . Director Andrew Borthwick-Leslie: creative staging, fun, as well as thought-provoking: a very palpable hit. Welland H. Scripps asked me what time it was at the start of the show: Time to celebrate.
Featuring Ariel Estrada, Tom Giordano, Montana Lampert Hoover, Adam Huff, Nolan Kennedy, Zach Libresco, Poppy Liu, Scarlet Maressa Rivera, and Welland Scripps. With scenic design by Steven Brenman, costume design by Claire Townsend, lighting design by Joe Doran, musical direction by Nolan Kennedy, and fight choreography by Michael Toomey. Andrea Wales is the stage manager, Libby Jensen is the production manager, Karen Ng is the company manager, Lynde Rosario is the dramaturg and assistant director, and Corinna May is the vocal coach.
Press: Antonio Minino, Kampfire PR
Visit: Irondale: http://irondale.org/
Visit: Letter from Marque Theatre Company: http://www.lomtheater.org/
(c) 2016 by Bob Shuman. All rights reserved.