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L.A. Beat

Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society ends run of Taming of the Shrew at casa

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The Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society wound up a successful run of “Taming of the Shrew,” in casa rather than Galt Gardens as planned due to unpredictable weather, Friday, Aug. 18.

Jeff Graham and Trevor Loman performing the last night of Taming of the Shrew at casa, Aug. 18. photo by Richard Amery


They have had to relocate shows several times this season due to weather and smoke. I haven’t been able to catch any other performances other than opening night and closing night.


The idea of  doers and  fathers having so much power of  their daughter’s marriage was pretty much an antiquated notion even in the ’60s, when they set this production, so director Jesse Thibert emphasized bringing out the humour of the misunderstandings, costumes, anachronisms and language.


As always, the cast did a great job, abounding with energy and really letting the jokes fly. 


  The talented cast have really gelled  over the run, and it all came together to make a play basically about how to gaslight a woman into a slightly campy and entertainingly absurd show set in more intimate venue of the casa community room.


There was a lot of crowd participation including director Jesse Thibert getting the audience to boo Petruccio (Ben McCluskey)  in his attempts to tame and woo the “shrew” Kate  (Maddie McKee) by calling him a “garbage person” from the back of the room.


 Sound effects like lion roars added to the show’s absurdity.


 Trevor Loman stole the show, fighting with an array of fake moustaches as Hortensio who vainly attempts to woo Kate’s kinder sister Bianca ( Mataya Britton), paying Petruccio to woo Kate, which is the condition their father Father Baptista ( Ginny Little -Bergsma) sets before letting anybody court Kate.


 A couple of  cast members are double cast. Jess Nguen plays a minor role as Petruccio’s out-upon tailor but she shines as Vincentio,  Lucentio’s real father who comes to “Nanaimo” into the middle  a scene fraught with chaos, misunderstandings and odd doings and tries to sort out the confusion out.


 Kaylee Johnson shines as  not only a merchant asked to pose as Lucentio’s real father to back up  Lucentio’s claims he can provide a better dowery than fellow suitor Gremio played by the always wonderful Jeff Graham.

Emily Laidlaw, who played the more serious role of Hamlet’s mother in last summer’s production lets loose her comedic side in Taming of the Shrew as  Lucentio’s ukulele strumming servant  Biondello.


 Taming of the Shrew ends with a disturbing speech about how a woman is expected to  treat, and serve  nay worship her husband, which could be seen as problematic in today’s world, but McKee did an outstanding job making the audience think about the issue by delivering the speech dripping in sarcasm, which is the only way it works today.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. beat editor

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