Monday, December 16, 2013

Review of The Merry Wives of Windsor at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Merry Wives of Windsor. It was written by William Shakespeare and it was directed by Barbara Gaines. It was about a man named Falstaff (Scott Jaeck) who really liked the ladies, well, he wants money but he also wants to seduce them. He also likes to drink and eat. It is also about Master Ford (Ross Lehman) who thinks that Mistress Ford (Heidi Kettenring) is having an affair with Sir John Falstaff. But Mistress Ford has a friend, Mistress Page (Kelli Fox) who wants to make their husbands (Lehman and Kevin Gudahl) be embarrassed, and also Sir John Falstaff. It is about romance, wanting something that you can't have, and tricky wives of Windsor. This is a really good play. I recommend it to anybody who likes Shakespeare.

This setting was not in Elizabethan times and it was not in the time that is happening right now. It was in the middle, in the 1940s. You can tell because of the costumes and the set. Sir John Falstaff was in the army during World War II; that is important because he is still wearing an army uniform to impress ladies. He could have fought bravely, but it is sort of unlikely because he doesn't seem to be the kind of person who would put his life in danger. Because the war is over, the wives can play pranks. During the war they would have hid in cellars and have been working at the Red Cross. You could also tell it was the 1940s because of the music they played. Like whenever two people fell in love or were being cheesy they sang a song from that time.

I thought that it was really awesome how they had actual dogs be in the show. I thought that was really awesome because the dogs were so cute and they were really actually interacting with the story. Good job, dogs! One of my favorite moments that happened with the dogs was the chase scene and how the dogs just followed along in different ways. I really liked the dog that was on the poster. I got to pet it afterwards and it was super fluffy.

The part where the Merry Wives were trying to get Falstaff in the basket was really funny because they were like screaming at him hatefully and then they would put in the clothes lovingly, and then they would toss them all in, and then they would put them in lovingly. I really liked the Merry Wives because they were really funny and they always wanted to play tricks on men. They are clever. That tells us that women are cool. Playing tricks makes them have more fun than just telling their husbands to stop or to do something. There was this part where Mistress Ford was talking to Falstaff and was hissing in her words because that was supposed to make Mistress Page come. And Mistress Page didn't comes, so Mistress Ford was like, "You are the ssssssweetest, John Falsssssstaff." I thought that that was really funny because you knew what she was trying to do.

I liked the part where Sir John Falstaff was in the tub and he dropped his soap in the tub and then he said "Ooops" and Dolores (Amy Montgomery) just walked away. I thought that was really funny because she didn't fall for that. She was like, "Nobody's going to get your soap, especially not me." I think that she was really good at making herself sassy. The bath wasn't like a bathtub; it was like a tub of water in a barn. And it seemed like he was comfortable in the barn, but I don't think I would be.

I really liked the scene where Master Ford took all his friends to his house so then they could see that his wife
was having an affair. It was hilarious because when he came in, he is like, "Set down the basket!" And he's like " everybody prepare to be amazed." And then he opened up the basket and there was nobody in there. And he kept ripping out different kinds of clothing and sheets. At little points he would just pause and pull out underpants. If Falstaff was in there, he would have gotten to him right away because he is a very big man, and he is a grown man as well. That is probably one of the funniest parts of Merry Wives of Windsor.

Anne Page (Tiffany Yvonne Cox) was a very pretty girl who was the daughter of Mistress Page. Her dilemma is that there are a lot of men who want to marry her but she is only in love with one. The men are Dr. Caius (Greg Vinkler) who is a French doctor who likes dogs, Slender (Steven Sutcliffe) who is a really weird guy who likes to sing "You Are My Sunshine," and Fenton (Matt Mueller) who she was actually in love with and he was from the Air Force. I liked the part where Slender sang "You Are My Sunshine" and Anne Page was laughing behind the flowers he had given to her. There was another song where he did the splits at the end but failed. I thought that that was really funny because he just fell over.

I loved the part where Mistress Quickly (Angela Ingersoll) puts Simple (Christopher Chmelik) in the closet. It was really funny because then the doctor came and he said, "I'm going to take a walk," but then he comes back and says, "Oh, I forgot my cane" and then he goes to the closet and then you can see her facial expression go like, "Nope. Just don't find him in there. Just don't see him in there." And then the doctor says, "Why is there a stranger in my closet?" and then he is trying to get Simple and Simple is like freaking out. And he was freaking out really well; I thought that that was really funny.

People who would like this show are people who like laundry baskets, dogs, and slapstick splits. People should go see this show because it is funny and anybody who likes slapstick would love it. I don't think you really learn anything, but you enjoy it. You wouldn't want to learn anything from this; you would more just want to laugh at it. And you will!

Photos: Liz Lauren

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