By William Shakespeare
Directed by Jack Hickey
Produced by Oak Park Festival theatre
At the Austin Gardens, Oak Park
Sound problems doom Shakespeare’s comedy
Maybe it was the locust in the trees or the swirling summer wind or, most likely, the positioning of the foot microphones that made it difficult to hear many of the players, especially the women. Add the fact that many of the women spoke too fast, running their words together and you find it difficult understand The Bard’s text, much less get the inherent humor.
When the men were on stage, lead by terrific work from Adam Breske as Ferdinand, King of Navarre and Joseph Wycoff as Biron, I could understand (and hear) their dialogue yet when the women, lead by Katherine Keberlein as The Princess of France were on stage, I could barely hear them and couldn’t understand much of their words. Add the machine gun speech from Richard Henzel as Holofernes in his attempt to land the wordplay and the incoherent and inaudible speech from many and this production of Love’s Labour’s Lost became a 2 hour and 30 minute chore. The heat and humidity didn’t help things.
Outdoor theatre is a risky and unpredictable affair so it is extremely important that the sound and the blocking work together to enhance the production. That was not the case at the performance I witnessed. Oak Park Festival Theatre usually mounts better shows as I’ve had many fine experiences at Austin Gardens but not this time.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: July 22, 2010
For full show information, check out the Love’s Labour’s Lost page at TheatreInChicago.
At Austin Gardens, 100 N. Forest, Oak Park, IL, call 708-445- 4440, tickets $25, $20 seniors/students, Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 7 pm, running time is 2 hours, 30 minutes, through August 21, 2010