June 30 through August 17
A Merry Shakespeare Comedy in Door County
Door Shakespeare launches itself into a breezy comedy this summer with a vibrantly witty production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. The tiny outdoor theater in a sleepy, little stretch of woods serves as an idyllic, little home for one of Shakespeare’s lightest comedies. Directed by talented actress/director Marcella Kearns, the ensemble glides quite gracefully through a comedy of gradually mounting tension. Allie Babich and Amy Ensign are steady mischief as Mistress Ford and Mistress Page, a couple of wives looking to toy with a man large enough to be a force of nature. James Carrington has a warm, robust sense of authority as her husband, balancing-out more wild energies onstage.
Page’s steady energy is complemented by Babich’s warmly physical presence as Mistress Alice Ford. Local Milwaukee theater veteran Matt Daniels makes his Door Shakespeare debut as Mistress Ford’s husband. Daniels is a toweringly brittle comic presence onstage as a man who gradually unravels as he investigates suspicions of his wife’s infidelity. Daniels rubbery anxiety amplifies into explosively exaggerated manic motions tempered by concerns of a cast bearing witness to his madness.
Longtime Milwaukee Rep resident actor Mark Corkins takes the stage as the blustery comic mass of Sir John Falstaff. Corkins lives-up to the legendary comical knight’s overpowering presence while casting bits of subtle comic nuance to the edges of an impressively sophisticated performance. In the wrong hands, Falstaff can totally overpower the rest of the ensemble. Corkins and Kearns manage to weave a robust presence into a richly dynamic cast.
Through Aug. 23 at Door County’s Björklunden Lodge. For tickets, call 920-839-1500 or visit here.