Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Directed by Scott Bellis, Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy is a lively tale of friendship, love and loyalty, with two very funny clowns and a loveable Basset hound that just might steal the show!
THE STORY: In Verona, best friends Valentine (Nadeem Phillip) and Proteus (Charlie Gallant) are saying goodbye, as Valentine is off to visit the Duke’s court in Milan, while Proteus is staying behind to be near his love, Julia (Kate Besworth). But at Proteus’ home, his parents Antonio (Paul Moniz de Sá) and Pantina (Luisa Jojic) insist it’s time to expand his horizons and go join Valentine in Milan. Proteus departs, followed by his servant, Launce (Andrew Cownden), and Launce’s dog, Crab (Gertie the Basset hound). At the palace of the Duke (Edward Foy) in Milan, Valentine tells his servant Speed (Chirag Naik) that he’s in love with the Duke’s daughter, Silvia (Adele Noronha). Silvia rejects his attentions in public, but later finds him alone and reveals she has feelings for him. When Proteus reaches Milan, Valentine confides to him that he and Silvia plan to elope, before her father makes her marry Turio (Kamyar Pazandeh), a rich nobleman. Alone, Proteus confesses he also is smitten with Silvia; he resolves to pursue Silvia for himself. He tells the Duke about Valentine’s plan to elope, the Duke intercepts Valentine on his way to Silvia’s room, and he banishes him. Valentine relays this news to Proteus, who promises to look after Silvia. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Proteus, Julia arrives in Milan, disguised as a page named Sebastian, and chaos ensues. Carmela Sison (Lucetta), Olivia Hutt (Hostess) and Lebowski (understudy: role of Crab) round out the cast for this romantic romp.
Set Designer Marshall McMahen has blended the beauty of the Romantic period with minimalist design elements to underscore the production’s themes. Bard Artistic Associate Mara Gottler dresses Verona’s landed gentry in comfortable and practical period garments, while dressing Milan’s aristocrats in more sophisticated yet severe outfits meant to conceal their true personalities. Sound Designer Julie Casselman has created a soundscape that conveys intense emotion and follows the characters’ inner feelings and desires. Lighting Designer Adrian Muir illuminates this romantic tale, while Josh Reynolds oversees the fight direction and Choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg brings playful movement to the production. The Two Gentlemen of Verona plays on the Howard Family Stage from June 29 to September 17.
Performance details for The Two Gentlemen of Verona are:
• Previews: June 29 & 30; July 7, 8 & 11; OPENS: Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30pm.
• Runs June 29 to September 17 on the Howard Family Stage.