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The Taming of the Shrew

rock and roll Petruchio

Petruchio was Elvis Presley (breaking into “Hardheaded Woman” upon hearing about Kate.) Kate was Leslie Gore (“You Don’t Own Me” was her response to Petruchio and “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To” came out after she was stood up at her wedding.) Other characters took on the personas of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Groucho Marx. All of the place names became Californian – Verona became Pomona, and one of our favorite lines was: “a mighty man of Lodi.” The incredibly knowledgeable Al Stewart (of “Year of the Cat” fame) had just moved into the neighborhood and was enlisted to help with the musical choices.

Somehow we convinced an awesomely hip choreographer, La Tonya Watts, to teach our cast a huge number of hot dance routines. The show opened with a stage full of dancing to “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” – a not too subtle Shakespearean reference. We ended with another, “All Shook Up.”
Bianca, Hortensio and Gremio from The Taming of the Shrew

The audiences were agog. Each night we thrilled to the sight of hundreds of people realizing they were not seeing another stuffy Shakespeare production, but something entirely different and unexpected. It was one of those shows where we were afraid people would hurt themselves by laughing too hard..

Some of the critics did not appreciate our wit. The Independent Journal review elicited four or five letters of rebuttal which were published, along with the critic’s response, over the next two weeks. The Taming of the Shrew was certainly one of the most outrageous Shakespeare productions we’ve ever created.

 


 

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Marin Shakespeare Company

Marin Shakespeare Company
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Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, 890 Belle Ave. San Rafael, CA, 94901
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