Review: 'Two Gentlemen of Verona'

August 12, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

One of the challenges of staging some of Shakespeare's comedies is figuring out how to make their endings satisfying and palatable to contemporary audiences.

Times, it is true, change. And where once--in the most obvious example--the "taming" of fiery Kate in "The Taming of the Shrew" was just peachy, these days directors must wrestle with whether to modify the original message or embrace the period.
 
In "Two Gentlemen of Verona," the "happy" ending includes one of the titular gentlemen, who has betrayed his lover and his best friend in pursuit of the latter's love, returning to his first intended with barely an apology. Marriage is next. End of story. "All's well that ends well," a 1760s audience might have said--and who cares what the women were feeling anyway? But today it's harder to feel that same joy.
 
The engaging production of the play staged at White River State Park Aug. 6-8 by Heartland Actors' Repertory Theatre didn't solve the problem--it kind of barreled through it to the curtain call. But, to its credit, the lack of attention to the issue didn't take much away from the evening. Prior to the less-than-satisfying ending, HART effectively delivered nearly three hours of smiles in an easily understood, gracefully designed and lit production (aided and abetted, until the sun went down, by the White River shimmering behind it).
 
Adriano Gatto as the betraying gentleman and Chris Hatch as his best buddy grounded the problematic play while clowns R. Brian Noffke, Ryan Artzberger and Casper the Dog (in a remarkably lengthy canine role) scored well-deserved laughs in the more comedic parts. The women--including a generic Silvia, passion-generator for both gents--weren't quite working at the same level, but Shakespeare gave them less to go on so allowances should be made.
 
With three years of summer Shakespeare under its belt--and with these "Gentlemen" a notch in quality above last year's "Much Ado About Nothing,"--let's hope that an institution has been born. Expanding the show this year to three (free!) performances bodes well for HART taking an anchoring role in Indy's summer cultural life. As soon as the next show is announced, I'll be putting it in my datebook.
 
Your thoughts?
ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. why oh why does this state continue to elect these people....do you wonder how much was graft out of the 3.8 billion?

  2. i too think this is a great idea. I think the vision and need is there as well. But also agree with Wendy that there may be better location in our city to fulfill this vision and help grow the sports of hockey and figure skating in Indy. Also to help further develop other parts of the city that seem often forgotten. Any of the other 6 townships out side of the three northernmost could benefit greatly from a facility and a vision like this. For a vision that sounds philanthropic, the location is appears more about the money. Would really like to see it elsewhere, but still wish the development the best of luck, as we can always use more ice in the city. As for the Ice growth when they return, if schedules can be coordinated with the Fuel, what could be better than to have high level hockey available to go see every weekend of the season? Good luck with the development and the return of the Ice.

  3. How many parking spaces do they have at Ironworks? Will residents have reserved spaces or will they have to troll for a space among the people that are there at Ruth Chris & Sangiovese?

  4. You do not get speeding ticket first time you speed and this is not first time Mr.Page has speed. One act should not define a man and this one act won't. He got off with a slap on the wrist. I agree with judge no person was injured by his actions. The state was robbed of money by paying too much rent for a building and that money could have been used for social services. The Page family maybe "generous" with their money but for most part all of it is dirty money that he obtained for sources that are not on the upright. Page is the kind of lawyer that gives lawyers a bad name. He paid off this judge like he has many other tine and walked away. Does he still have his license. I believe so. Hire him to get you confiscated drug money back. He will. It will cost you.

  5. I remain amazed at the level of expertise of the average Internet Television Executive. Obviously they have all the answers and know the business inside and out.

ADVERTISEMENT