As always, Reduxion Theatre Company offers a little something for everyone with their newest production, “Love’s Labour’s Lost”! One of Shakespeare’s lesser known comedies, Erin Woods (Director, Managing Director) sets the production in 1953 Spain, drawing inspiration from the public’s fascination with royals and other celebrity figures. The live music directed by Kristin Marie Stang with dance scenes choreographed by Susan Riley and fight scenes choreographed by Tyler Woods keep the pace lively through what is one of Shakespeare’s longer comedies. Costume Designer Catherine Pitt and Assistant Sarah Larson help the audience identify a large cast of characters at a glance, with help from Lighting Designer Ciera Terry.
The story follows the naive King Ferdinand (Sam Bearer) as he tries to navigate his duties by eschewing distraction in the form of food, women and sleep from himself and his court. The foil comes in the form of the Princess of France (Claire Powers) and her attendants, who manage to divert the King and his court but also send everyone on their way in the end. While the romance between Ferdinand and the Princess is seems the most important, what goes on between Rosaline (Holly McNatt) and Berowne (Mitchell Reid) is much more interesting. Where the King is simply misguided, Berowne is dangerous– playing with Rosaline’s affections from the beginning. The other four principles (Longaville, Dumaine, Maria, and Katherine) are expertly matched and hilariously played by Ian S. Clinton, Jeffrey Burleson, Susan Riley, and Catherine Pitt respectively.
The story is filled out by a cast of supporting characters who further demonstrate Shakespeare’s penchant for the ridiculous. Charlie Monnot’s Boyet, one of the Princess’s attendants, always has a cutting observation. The plot turns on a comedy of errors involving Berowne, photographer Costard (Burleson), aspiring model Jaquenetta (Riley), Don Adriano de Armado played by Timothy Berg, and Moth played by Jessa Schinske. A misdelivered letter and a wealth of hiding places show Ferdinand and his court the error of their ways and misadventures begin anew as the men attempt to court their chosen ladies.
The show is produced hilariously, though a little slow at times. Woods does justice to the full range of Shakespeare’s themes, portraying the respect for the good in human nature with the same eclat and enthusiasm as the dirty jokes. The ensemble cast has terrific chemistry, with some really outstanding comedic performances. It’s a great date night show (and they offer a cute couple’s package!) or an afternoon of family fun. It’s also worth noting that as the show’s run ends at the Broadway Theatre they take their show on the road, performing the full show during their Metropolitan Library System tour.
The show runs at the Broadway Theatre through March 2nd, with 8 PM shows Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights and 2 PM matinees on February 17th and 24th. More information about the Reduxion Theatre company’s current season and “Love’s Labour’s Lost” can be found here, and tickets can be purchased here. The Broadway Theater is at 1613 N Broadway Ave. and can be reached at 405.651.3191. Enjoy the show!