SHAKESPEARE on Navy Pier theater presents
Shakespeare in Love
DIRECTED BY Rachel Rockwell
NOW PLAYING – April 15 – June 11, 2017
Spring is here and love is in the air! It’s the time where romance electrifies the soul with the enchanting melodies of love. When couples confirm their desires to live together forever and where tears of joy permeate the atmosphere. People all over the world will be looking to engage in this feeling of love and happiness. Well, if you are looking for a place where love, romance and the joy of life are surrounded by an intimate sensation of family and friends, then take a journey to Navy Pier and go see the play “Shakespeare in Love.”
This fresh, funny love story which went back in time to 1590, started at a popular theater called “The Rose,” that was managed by Phillip Henslowe. The Play opens with a struggling young playwright who is fighting with a lack of words he could pen to the pages. Needing help and seeking a muse to inspire this romantic poet named Will Shakespeare, he continues to make two theater managers believe he has a comedy ready without even writing a word.
From the opening scene, we were drawn to the “Early Modern English” and how the dashing young playwright was bewildered in his thoughts about his overdue play. Penniless and in desperate need of adequate male actors (because it was illegal for women to perform), he puts together a cast of misfits until Thomas Kent makes him believe that maybe he can do the impossible; perform his respectable play. But the question is who is this Thomas Kent, what providence is he from and is he actually a he?
This play has a lot of wit and humor (pay attention to the humorous banter) that carries throughout the entire play with a lot of backstage antics met with a playful and delightful onstage drama. It features a multi-cultural cast of characters which includes Queen Elizabeth herself and I will be remiss if I didn’t mention the dog Spot (Dash) who was spot on acting in the play! As you know, “You have to have a dog in the play.”
Shakespeare’s usages of soliloquies, which were often used in a drama when a character speaks to oneself, were candidly enjoyable and provided a smooth transition during the performance.
Director Rachel Rockwell incorporated this throughout the play very cleverly and brilliantly bringing this epic romance story to life. Another gifted skill that Rachel delivered was allowing us to witness how one of Shakespeare works came into existence. We watched the characters Will (Nick Rehberger) and Viola’s(Kate McGonigle) passionate, forbidden love affair unfold to inspire one of Shakespeare’s masterpiece—the most romantic tragedy ever written. Romeo and Juliet!
Nick and Kate’s portrayal of two lost souls hopelessly seeking to love for a lifetime was very convincing and with the overall stage scenery within the beautiful Shakespeare Theater, it brought you back in time as if you were truly in the year 1590. All of the cast were equally as charming and “It’s a mystery,” why anyone would walk away not enjoying this play.
We give Shakespeare in Love 2 Thumbs Up! If you enjoy having fun and seeing a love worth dying for, then this play is for you.
The cast included:
Nick Rehberger (William Shakespeare)
Kate McGonigle (Viola de Lesseps)
Michael Perez (Kit Marlowe)
Larry Yando (Henslowe)
Timothy D. Stickney (Burbage)
Linda Reiter (Queen Elizabeth)
Dennis Grimes (Lord Wessex)
Luigi Sottile (Ned Alleyn)
Scott Danielson (Wabash)
Fred Geyer (Adam)
Ron King (Ralph)
Ron Rains (Fennyman)
Ryan McBride (Robin)
Andrew Mueller (Nol)
Jake Helm (John Webster)
Matthew Uzarraga (John Webster)
Jerre Dye, Alana Grossman, Jeff Kurysz and Catherine Smitko
Rev. Rick & Brenda McCain are the hosts of “Let’s Stay Together Talk!”