Thursday, July 8, 2010

Much Ado About Rivals In Door County

Door Shakespeare Opens Its 2010 Season This Weekend

By Russ Bickerstaff
Google+ Pinterest Print

 Door Shakespeare is easily one of the most organic outdoor theatres in the state. The “stage” is actually a clearing in the woods in Bailey’s Harbor surrounded by folding chairs. Productions feature minimal set and costuming in favor of some really impressive acting . . . quite a few people in any Door Shakes cast are Equity—quite often from out of state. I’ve had some amazingly visceral brushes with Shakespeare there. The sound of bare feet against the hard earth still echoes in my mind from a particularly well-choreographed comic fight scene in a relatively recent production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. More so than I’ve seen it anywhere else, the Bailey’s Harbor group is the raw, pulsing heart of Shakespeare. Not everything’s perfect, but it’s pleasantly rough around the edges.

Door Shakespeare opens a new summer season tomorrow night as the company presents Richard Brinsley Sheridan's five-act comedy of manors, The Rivals. The play was first performed at Covent Garden in London on January 17th, 1775. Considered to be a bit too bawdy for its time (and a bit long at five acts) One of the actors got hit with an apple opening night. Sheridan immediately saw the error in his ways and withdrew the play, offering-up a re-write to the stage 11 days later. The play centers around Lydia and Jack--a pair of wealthy 18th century lovers in Bath, England. Lydia wants a purely romantic affair and Jack obliges by pretending to be a poor, low ranking member of the military. This is all fine and good, but the play is easily best known for Lydia’s guardian-a Mrs. Malaprop who has a rather torturously creative grasp of her native language.

Door Shakespeare’s production of The Rivals runs July 9th – August 22nd.

The Shakespeare in this summer’s Door Shakespeare is Much Ado About Nothinga popular comedy which was most recently staged locally in the intimate confines of the Cate Blanche Studio Theatre. Door Shakespeare offers an opportunity to get in on the masks, mistaken identities and generally comic confusion of the unlikely courtship of Beatrice, and Benedick in Door Shakespeare’s pleasant clearing on the Björklunden estate in Bailey’s Harbor. 

Door Shakespeare’s production of Much Ado About Nothing runs July 10 – August 21st

Log in to use your Facebook account with
Express Milwaukee

Login With Facebook Account