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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shakespearean Comedy in Baileys Harbor

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The intimate outdoor experience of Door Shakespeare comes in comedic and tragic moods this summer as it presents both Macbeth and Love’s Labour’s Lost. The lesser known of the two, Love’s Labour’s Lost, is a light comedy involving four men who vow to focus exclusively on intellectual pursuits for three years. When four women approach to socially engage them, things get a little complicated.

It’s about as light a comedy as Shakespeare ever wrote—aside from a few somber notes near the end of the story. With a fair amount of charisma and solidly respectable comic instincts, Jason Economus leads the men as King Ferdinand. The rest of the group is evenly balanced with various personalities achieving a comic depth all their own, particularly David Folsom’s comically precise Berowne.

Carley Cornelius makes for a very canny Princess of France, leading the women into relations with the men. Quite a few distinctly clever personalities are in that group as well, including Jennifer Ludwigsen as a sparklingly fun Rosalind.

On the far comic end of things, Bret Tuomi is clownishly infected with love in the role of the Spaniard Don Armado and Amy J. Ludwigsen makes for a pleasantly madcap Jaquenetta, being both beautiful and zany, which is a hard balance for any actress to manage.

This year’s shows at Door Shakespeare have a finely polished feel to them thanks to a new lighting scheme for when the blanket of nightfall comes. Jason Fassl’s lighting design adds a gorgeous depth to the visual reality of the productions.

Door Shakespeare’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost runs in rotation with Macbeth through Aug. 17 at Bjorklunden (7590 Boynton Lane) in Baileys Harbor, Door County. For tickets, call 920-839-1500 or visit doorshakespeare.com.