Directed by Nick Sandys
At First Folio Theatre, Oakbrook
A Summer Night of Funny
Imagine a beautiful warm summer evening on an estate with large lawns and gorgeous trees. You have easy parking and can take your own home cooked favorites for a picnic, or not. The top-notch live production was written by the best playwright in the world. No, you are not dreaming. You can find this enchantment with First Folio Theatre’s, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and all for a very modest cost.
Shakespeare’s very funny comedy begins with the conniving ways of a roly-poly Sir John Falstaff (Brian McCartney) to seduce not one but two wives (Mistress Ford-Lydia Berger Gray; and Mistress Page-Patrice Egleston). The wives conspire on creative antics to see that Falstaff gets his comeuppance which offer hysterical situations. The play raises the concerns of trust, greed, deception, chaos, and love.
The setting, a small middle-class town that bustles with the English life, includes 21 actors! Each quickly establishes a distinguishable character in spite of the large number, and each looks comfortable in their characters’ skin. They all also appear to be having a jolly good time, as does the audience. The casting was brilliant, and the diction from everyone came across with clarity and especially the appropriate understandable speed. My hat is off to the Director, Nick Sandys for monitoring this detail of speed, often an error in some Shakespearean productions.
Oak Brook, IL