2016-07-15 / Ticket

Theater at Monmouth delivers laughs in a battle of wits

REVIEW
BY AARON HALLS
Special to The Times Record


“LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST” is part of Theater at Monmouth’s Vive La France season and runs through Aug. 20. 
PHOTO COURTESY OF THEATER AT MONMOUTH “LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST” is part of Theater at Monmouth’s Vive La France season and runs through Aug. 20. PHOTO COURTESY OF THEATER AT MONMOUTH MONMOUTH

With Theater at Monmouth’s production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” audiences get the chance to experience one of William Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies. Here King Ferdinand (Rob Glauz) and his lords: Longaville (Jake Loewenthal), Dumaine (Tim Kopacz), and Berowne (Chris White) commit themselves to three years of strict study, giving up contact with women as well as restricting their amount of sleep and food consumption.

Things quickly get complicated with the arrival of the Princess of France (Erica Murphy) and her ladies: Rosaline (Blythe Coons), Maria (Isabella Etro), and Katharine (Kelsey Burke).

The king and his lords soon fall for the Princess and her ladies, who themselves are very strong minded, and hijinks quickly ensue.

Differentiating this Shakespeare production from ones you may have seen before is the choice to set the play in 1960’s England at Cambridge University. The production team lead by director Dawn McAndrews takes advantage of the 20th century time period, particularly when it comes to the costume and music design by Elizabeth Rocha and Rew Tippin.

Direction and design alone are not the only things that contribute to this compelling show — the cast shows a complete understanding of Shakespeare’s use of language, knowing how to deliver lines and use pauses for the best comedic effect. Chris White is absolutely charismatic as Berowne, who fills his character’s soliloquy with equal parts soul and humor; Erica Murphy exudes a commanding and authoritative presence as the Princess; Lucas Calzada excels at using physical humor and props for comedic effect as Costard; and Christopher Holt as constable Dull gives his character an awkward energy that puts audience members in stiches. Truly, all 16 cast members work well together and help keep the laughs steadily coming throughout the performance.

Featuring excellent direction, production and performances, Theater at Monmouth’s production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” provides a hysterical time at the theater you won’t want to miss.

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” runs through Aug. 20. For more information on this production and others, including show times and ticket purchasing, visit theateratmonmouth.org.

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