Frog & Peach Theatre Will Present
“Measure For Measure”
April 25 to May 19, 2013
At The West End Theater, 263 West 86th Street.
West End Theater, 263 West 86th St. (B’way and West End Ave.) Building, theater and restrooms are all wheelchair accessible.
Presented by Frog and Peach Theatre Company
Thurs, Fri, and Sat at 7:30 PM, Sun at 3:00 PM
$18 General Admission, $12 seniors and students
Box Office: Smarttix (212) 868-4444, www.smarttix.com
Runs: 90 minutes
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Frog & Peach Theatre Company (http://www.frogandpeachtheatre.org), “a brave company that is a jewel of Off-Broadway” (Ronald Gross, NY Theater Buying Guide), will present a Weimar vision of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” April 25 to May 19 at the West End Theater, 263 West 86th Street. Artistic Director Lynnea Benson directs. The classic will be set in the 1930s Weimar in order to comment on the corruption that underlies the smug patina of modern life.
In Shakespeare’s bitter comedy, The Duke of Vienna pretends to leave the city, assigning his authority to Angelo while he disguises himself as a friar and stays to watch what develops. Angelo almost immediately sentences Claudio to death for seducing Juliet, but when Claudio’s sister Isabel comes to plead for him, Angelo shamelessly tries to seduce her, offering to exchange her brother’s life for her virginity. The “cleric” persuades her to turn the tables by appearing to consent to the plan but sending Angelo’s abandoned fiancee, Mariana, to the rendezvous instead. Ultimately the Duke resumes his authority and sets things straight again.
Director Lynnea Benson explains that visualizing the play in a familiar, pre-Nazi society is a good way to illustrate the themes of corruption and fascism in the play. The themes of corruption in the play, however, should not be unfamiliar in our modern perspective. She reflects, “We are still a very corrupt city, but with a greasy face of political correctness over everything. Look at every real estate deal you hear of. We cater to the consumer class. We are not thinkers any more. In that way, we resemble the world of this play. We are channeling our resources in the wrong direction.”
The actors include Amy Frances Quint as Isabella, Jonathan Reed Wexler as Claudio, Erick Gonzalez as Duke Vincentio, Eric Doss as Angelo, Marcus Watson as Pompey, Ilaria Amadasi as Marianna, Vivien Landau as M. Overdone/Francisca and Steve Mazzoccone as Lucio. Lighting is designed by Dennis Parichy. Set design is by Andy Estep. Costume design is by Asa Benally. Choreography is by Tom Knutson.
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Frog and Peach Theatre Company (www.frogandpeachtheatre.org), now in its sixteenth season, is one of the Upper West Side’s most under-appreciated Shakespeare resources. It was co-founded by Ted Zurkowski and Lynnea Benson — both lifetime members of The Actors Studio– and is dedicated to bringing Shakespeare’s plays in a way that is thrilling, fast-paced, true to the text, and startlingly relevant to modern audiences. Director Lynnea Benson has directed over two dozen Shakespeare productions for Frog and Peach including “The Taming of the Shrew,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Twelfth Night,” “Cymbeline,” “Macbeth,” “As You Like It” (with Sidney Williams and Emmy-winner Camryn Grimes) “Richard III” (starring Anatol Yusef of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire); “Hamlet” (with Austin Pendleton as Claudius and The Ghost); “Richard II” (with Mr. Pendleton as Richard), “Macbeth” with Jason Kuschner in the title role, “The Merchant of Venice” and “King John” (with Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno as Blanche). Ms. Benson is Artistic Director and co-founder of Frog and Peach.
Last season, the company presented a memorable production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” NY Theater Buying Guide (Ronald Gross) deemed it “One of the best theater bargains in New York City!” Frog and Peach was called “a brave company that is a jewel of Off-Broadway” and the production was praised as “overflowing with delicious performances.” Gross elaborated, “Lynnea Benson…orchestrates her talented actors with clarity and hilarity – I’ve never seen a production in which the romantic imbroglios of the plot are easier to follow. But she also plumbs the depths of a work that is frightening in its evocation of primal fears and anxieties – of domination and loss of control over oneself and others. The cast is so brimming with talent that each member deserves recognition.”
The actors include J.B. Alexander as Pedant, Alan Altschuler as Vincentio, Ilaria Amadasi as Widow, Brando Boniver as Biondello, Lenny Ciotti as Tranio, Eric Doss as Hortensio, David Elyha as Gremio, Erick Gonzalez as Petruchio, Vivian Landau as Baptista, Alexandra Poncelet Del Sole as Bianca, Amy Frances Quint as Katherina, Jack Sochet as Grumio, Joseph Urick and Philip Oros as Baptista’s personal assistants, Ryan Dreyer as Curtis and Jonathan Reed Wexler as Lucentio.
Set design is by Andy Estep. Lighting design is by Duane Pagano. Costume design is by Asa Benally.
The West End Theater is located at 263 West 86th St. (B’way and West End Ave.). “The Taming of the Shrew” will be performed Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3:00 PM beginning April 25 and running through May 19. General admission tickets are $18.00 and seniors and sudents are admitted for $12. For tickets call SMARTTIX at 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com. The building, theater and its restrooms are all wheelchair accessible.
“The Taming of the Shrew” will be presented in repertory with a series for young audiences, “Tinkerbell Theater,” which adapts Fairy Tales to theater with a “Rocky and Bullwinkle” touch. Two productions, “Cinderella” (adapted from Grimm’s Fairy Tales) and “The Tinderbox” (adapted from Hans Christian Anderson), will be mounted; both are written and directed by Lynnea Benson and feature music and life-sized soft puppets. These family productions will take stage during the run of “Measure for Measure” on a rotating schedule, Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]