Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Women Beware Women. It was directed by Kathryn Walsh and it was written by Thomas Middleton. It was about many things. One of them is a girl named Bianca (Eliza Hofman) who was very in love with her husband Leantio (Josh Zagoren) at the beginning but then he left for a week and when he came back she was having an affair with the Duke (Nick Jordan). It is also about a woman named Livia (Loretta Rezos) and her brother Hippolito (Michael Mercier) was in love with his niece Isabella (Maggie Scrantom). She tries to make her fall in love with him so he won't be in despair for the rest of is life, but things don't go exactly as planned. Livia is also part of the Bianca story because she arranges for the Duke to come and make her do something against her will that makes him happy but doesn't make her happy. I think that women should definitely beware women who are very good at helping people with their troubles and are good at talking but they do really bad things, like Livia. I liked how this was a play about women who do terrible things instead of about women who do amazing things. I also love plays about women who do amazing things, but this was different and I liked it. I thought this was an exciting play, and you should definitely go and see it. I really liked it!
Bianca's choice to be with the Duke instead of her husband is, I think, sort of a bad one. I think she should have stayed with her husband since she was already married. And I felt like the Duke expressed how he thought she was so beautiful in a horrible way. At first I didn't understand why she decided to go with the Duke instead of her husband. But now I think she decided that the Duke would make her rich and famous. And she realized how her husband was treating her, which was not very nice. He was treating her more like an object that made him happy. He brought her home to his mother (Morgan McCabe) and made promises that he had not talked about with his wife yet. And he wouldn't even let her look out the window to see what the weather was like. He doesn't let her go anywhere because he is afraid she'll have an affair with someone. And if he hadn't done that, she probably wouldn't have.
I think it is weird that everyone is so shocked about the uncle-niece relationship between Hippolito and Isabella. I think that it is weird because in this time period people got married to their cousins, and an uncle is not exactly the same but it is sort of the same. In the play they are very shocked that he is in love with her, but I wasn't. I felt like it wasn't good that Livia lied to them just so her brother would be happy. She could have just said, "I think you two can be in love and have to be in love secretly because everyone would hate you for a long time except me because I don't care that you two are uncle and niece. I think that if you love each other you should love each other and I won't tell anyone" and then actually keep her promise. I don't think it would be okay now, but I think it would have been back then. You are rooting for the relationship because when Livia lies to Isabella and says that they aren't actually uncle and niece, Isabella then just goes straight to tell him that she loves him. Hippolito seems like an amazing person compared to the Ward (Laura Lapidus) who she is supposed to marry who is a complete idiot!
I think that Livia is a very evil character but you still find sympathy for her. Most of the stuff that she does is horrible horrible horrible, but they still find a way to make you like her. You can understand why she decides to let Guardiano (Matt Pierce) try to make the Duke and Bianca a couple: because she thinks that if she makes the Duke happy he will make her rich and famous. And that I think is very selfish, but you can understand why she wants that too. You don't hate her because her one and only love dies but most people think it is good that they killed him because she and her love weren't actually married and he was already married and they hadn't been divorced yet. She falls in love in a kind of strange way; she falls in love with him by just seeing him. I think she just suddenly finds who she wants to be with. That makes you like her more because this is not a plot. It is actually the way she feels.
I thought that the staging idea was really cool. You would be sometimes super close to the action because you were seated all around the room and the action took place all around the room. But the problem was that sometimes I couldn't see what was going on in the scene because of where we were situated. I really wish that I could have seen the dueling scene because I know who it was by, R&D Choreography, and I know their choreography is very good. They could make it different by either just putting it on one stage or making it promenade so you could go and see whatever you wanted whenever you wanted. I think that my readers should get there very early and go in the second that the doors open and get the best seats in the house. Don't get a back seat--get a very front seat! Some people will have to sit in the back seats, so you should just bring like 7 cushions and sit on all of them.
People who would like this show are people who like characters that you hate but also love, evil-ish relationships, and suspense. I had a fun but on-the-edge-of-my-seat time at this show. I think that it is great to have this kind of show that hasn't been done in a long time. It was written a long time ago, but it represents some things that are happening in our time. I really loved this show.
Photos: Ben Chandler