This stage adaptation of the smash 1998 movie of the same name has something for everyone: comedy, romance, Shakespearean prose, and a dog! 14/10, approve!
Let’s be real, many of us haven’t read a Shakespearean sonnet since high school, so the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of Shakespeare in Love is the perfect reintroduction to a long lost friend (or enemy, depending on your high school English grades!)
William Shakespeare is a young playwright with a wicked case of writer’s block, and what better to help cure it, than a muse. Enter the daring Viola de Lesseps, a lady bound by the confines of her time and status, but determined to be a player on the stage. Disguised as a man, she acts as Romeo in the very play Shakespeare is struggling to write. As Will & Viola’s romance grows, Will finds the inspiration for his greatest tragedy, Romeo & Juliet.
The cast, led by two PSF veterans, Luigi Sottile (Young Will Shakespeare) and Mairin Lee (Viola), showed the ability to shift seamlessly between comedy, romance, and tragedy -- and even showed off some improvisation skills in the midst of some technical difficulties with the set during a preview performance.
Additionally, the intricacy and detail of the costuming was of particular note, and aided the absolute transformation of these actors into their characters. Directed by Patrick Mulcahy, PSF’s Shakespeare In Love is great fun and something you don’t want miss. Especially for the brief cameos from Buddy (Spot), an English Cream Golden Retriever making his PSF debut.
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s performances of Shakespeare In Love run July 13 - August 5, 2018.
The Professional Theatre at DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue • Center Valley, PA • 18034
610.282.WILL (9455) • pashakespeare.org
Female in photo: Mairin Lee as Viola De Lesseps
Male in photo: Luigi Sottile as William Shakespeare
Photo by Lee A. Butz.