The home stand of the American Shakespeare Center's touring company (the "Piercing Eloquence" tour) continues with The Taming of the Shrew. It must be fun for the cast to perform for an enthusiastic full house and that that's what they had last night. The lower level was packed and there were lots of people in General Admission upstairs, as well. Lots of energy.
And the audience was rewarded with an excellent production of this great farce. You know the story: Baptista is besieged by suitors for his beautiful daughter Bianca, but can't marry her off until he finds a husband fro the brash Katherina. Along comes headstrong Petruchio who decides she's just the one for him. He arranges the marriage and sets about taming the shrew. There are complications, of course, but fewer disguises than ususal for Shakespeare, and lots of laughs. And everyone is terrific in this production, especially the key players: Josh Carpenter as Petruchio and Ginna Hoben as Katherina make a great pair and their mercurial, lightning-speed romance was believable; among the rest, Evan Hoffmann is sure to pull the laughter for his surfer-dude approach to the part of the servant Biondello.
This is first-rate production and one of the best I've seen at the Blackfriars Playhouse, out of a lot of outstanding theater over the last six years.
Note: Several of the members of the company have blogs and/or websites and they are fun to explore. This morning I found Ellen Adair's blog, which has links to the others.