Article by Alejandra Enciso Guzmán
Best friends Valentine and Proteus travel to the big city to seek their fortunes only to find themselves rivals, both madly in love with the beautiful Silvia, daughter of Milan’s most powerful duke. ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ one of Shakespeare’s most delightful and boisterous comedies is the perfect brooch to close The Old Globe Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival. Better yet, to be presented at the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, it is indeed a treat. Surrounded by the great San Diego weather what can go wrong?
“The Globe’s 2014 Shakespeare Festival got off to a roaring start with our hit production of Othello, one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies. Now we switch gears into uproarious comedy with The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” said Artistic Director Barry Edelstein.
A fast-paced, exuberant tale of friendship, romance, and secret identities, featuring a band of outlaws, two bumbling servants, and one unforgettable dog. Directed by the renowned –and returning- Globe alumnus, as well as Tony Award nominee Mark Lamos (Complete Female Stage Beauty, Pentecost, and Resurrection Blues). “Director Mark Lamos, one of our country’s most gifted Shakespeareans, finds in this beguiling play all the brightest energies of youth, and his crack cast delivers the play with huge heart and joy. I look forward to treating San Diego to this delightful summer confection.” Added Edelstein.
The acting company includes Britney Coleman (Silvia), Arthur Hanket (Antonio, Dancing Master and Outlaw 2), Adam Kantor (Proteus), Mark Pinter (Duke, Fencing Master), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Valentine), Rusty Ross (Speed), Richard Ruiz (Launce), and Kristin Villanueva (Julia). Joining them are Old Globe/USD M.F.A. Program actors Erin Elizabeth Adams (Lucetta), Lindsay Brill (Silvia’s Page), Lowell Byers (Turio), Jamal Douglas (Servant to Antonio, Musician, Outlaw 3), Adam Gerber (Sir Eglamour), Kushtrim Hoxha (Panthino), Tyler Kent (Host), Robbie Simpson (Dancing Instructor to Silvia, Musician), and Patrick Zeller (Outlaw 1); and Ensemble members Meaghan Boeing, Charlotte Bydwell, Stephen Hu, Allison Layman, and Megan M. Storti. Khloe Jezbera joins the cast as Crab.
This young and energized cast shapes into the piece adding to the already bubbly plot. It is impressive to see how educated and prepared these young actors are with such a seemingly overwhelming task.
Britney Coleman plays Silvia, the ethical and true to her values maiden. Class, class, class as she carries Linda Cho’s costume designs. She is making her Globe debut with ‘Gentlemen’ and, the girl knows her craft. Hopefully there will be more of her in future shows: Proficient in violin, acoustic and electric bass guitar, ukulele, piano, conga, tap dancing… Another Globe debutant, soprano Kristin Villanueva in the role of ‘Julia’. Funny, witty will definitely melt your heart.
Adam Kantor as ‘Proteus’ gives just a little taste of the powerful and melodic voice he has. Just enough… quality before quantity. Hey! Former ‘Henry’ in Broadways Next to Normal and ‘Princeton’ in Avenue Q? Sold!
‘Valentine’ is elegantly portrayed by Hubert Point-Du Jour. His voice is like a soft melody.
Another treat is ‘Khloe’ an eight-year-old Labrador/German pointer who is debuting at the globe as ‘Crab’. Go and see for yourself; after the show, you will be wanting to take ‘Kokomo’ (her nickname) home. Or at least want to give her a hug.
The creative team includes John Arnone (Scenic Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design; 2014 Tony Award winner for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Stephen Strawbridge (Lighting Design), Acme Sound Partners (Sound Design), Fitz Patton (Original Music), Jeff Michael Rebudal (Movement), Mike Rossmy (Fight Director), David Huber (Voice and Text Coach), Tara Rubin Casting (Casting), and Bret Torbeck (Stage Manager).
‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’ running until Sunday September 14th, is the perfect night or afternoon out with family and friends. Supported in part through gifts from Qualcomm Foundation, Rhona and Rick Thompson, HM Electronics, Inc., and Holland America Line.
Tickets start at $29.00.
Additional events taking place during the run include:
SHAKESPEARE IN THE GARDEN: Wednesday, September 3 and Friday, September 12, 2014.
Short lectures presented by members of the artistic team reveal fascinating insights about the play and the production. Shakespeare in the Garden lectures are presented at 7:00 p.m. in the Craig Noel Garden. FREE.
NOTE: Please allow ample time to find parking and walk to the theatre. Balboa goes from calm to chaos in minutes.
For more info on shows, dates and times please click here.