Reviews

Basking in Open Day

STRATFORD, ON—Before the premiere of his second and final play, She Stoops to Conquer, Oliver Goldsmith wrote “A Comparison between Laughing and Sentimental Comedy.”  In this short essay, he appeals to Aristotle in arguing that a comedy is “a picture of the frailties of the lower part of mankind, to distinguish it from tragedy, which is an […]

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Reviews

Exchange the Bad for the Better

The Two Gentlemen of Verona has unjustly been dismissed by most scholars.  Harold Bloom, for instance, calls it “the weakest of all Shakespeare’s comedies.”  But if it doesn’t have the meat of later plays like The Merchant of Venice or All’s Well That Ends Well, it does offer humbler pleasures.  Fiasco, a company that previously mounted amiable if underwhelming productions […]

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Reviews

Cymbeline: Shakespeare’s Senioritis

A six-person Shakespearean production is a tricky thing to stage.  Actors and costume designers struggle with creating distinct characters, kings are executed only to reappear as rogues, and, since the small cast is often a monetary necessity, players tend to botch the language and confuse the action; the end result is the kind of stultifying […]

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