With Shakespeare in the Park wrapping up today with the last performance of Troilus and Cressida, let’s take a look back at Summer 2016 with a Taming of the Shrew Gif Appreciation Post!
Janet McTeer’s Sexy Self
Very few people can pull off that androgynous trailer park rocker look, and Janet McTeer (Petruchio) is one of them. Whoo, is it warm in here? It feels a bit warm…
The beauty pageant framing device gave the cast a chance to show off some of their special talents, like country crooning, baton twirling, and All-American tap dancing from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Donna Lynne Champlin.
Orange is the New Black Sightings
Adrienne C. Moore (Tranio) is probably best known as Cindy on Orange is the New Black, but she got to show more of her range of acting abilities with Shakespearean verse.
A lot of the comedy in Taming of the Shrew comes from Katherina and Bianca’s contentious relationship. Cush Jumbo (Katherina) and Gayle Rankin (Bianca) played off each other hilariously with their baby doll dresses and Katherina’s water pistols.
And What About Those Two?
Katherina and Bianca look chummy compared to Katherina and Petruchio. Other productions of Taming of the Shrew have tried to soften their relationship and make it more palatable to modern audiences, but here, Petruchio doesn’t hold back. His misogynistic attitudes and how he treats Katherina transform Taming of the Shrew from what is traditionally a romantic comedy to a comedy-horror story.
Pink Fuzzy Handcuffs
Janet McTeer plays Petruchio as a drunk prick, but he is a funny drunk prick who might throw a good party. Evidence? Those pink handcuffs.
Judy Gold as Drumpf
With an all-female cast, almost the whole cast is in drag at some point. It’s amusing to see all these awesome ladies play manly men, but Judy Gold stands out as a Donald Drumpf-like Gremio. I could hear her spout stories about grab-assing airline stewardesses and the merits of women wearing skirts vs. pants all day.
The costuming definitely favors fedoras, but Anne L. Nathan’s 10-gallon hat deserves a special shout-out. Not only does that hat makes an impression (one of immense fortune and influence), it is practical as well. Imagine everything a person could hide in that hat, like snacks or a spare flask.
What better way to end a radically feminist update to Taming of the Shrew than letting the cast rock out to Joan Jett’s Bad Reputation? It’s a great release for everyone, including the audience, and it lets the ladies loosen their ties, their chest bindings, and even their dresses.