REVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Love’s Labour’s Lost

By William Shakespeare

Love's Labour's Lost
Love's Labour's Lost

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.

Love's Labor's Lost

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.

Not Recommended

Tom Williams

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

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