Shakespeare in the park makes a cheerful return with “cheerful wives”

Nobody wants to hear about a pandemic in the theater, right? They ran away and began to forget the news for hours. Or, anyway, until the moment I got inspired during Shakespeare at the park’s outdoor “cheerful wives.”

“This year was a tough year,” Johnny Falstaff, played by Jacob Mintrent, tells the audience in a cheerful speech. He’s been watching Netflix and complaining about the boring thing of being trapped in his apartment for months. He is bored and tired.

So Falstaff states, “Can I blame me for wanting to get Madame Page and Madame Ford?”

1 hour 50 minutes, no break. Delacorte Theater, 81 Central Park West; 212-967-7555, PublicTheater.org

No! This is a great line of clever adaptations of writer Jocelyn Bioh’s “Merry Wives” at the Dela Court Theater on Monday night. quip adds new motivation to very tricky plots.

You see, Shakespeare’s comedy is about an overweight drunk man trying to seduce two married women with a kick. Such behavior is usually morally abominable, but these days it is ill-advised.

Min Trent, who could turn “King Lear” into a laughing riot, chants the audience “We feel you, Falstaff!”.

And shit, we do.

The entire play directed by Saheem Ali walks a clever line between complete profane and respect for Elizabethan sources. Many are still from Shakespeare’s Quill, but it’s clear that the British, who died in the 17th century, didn’t see Netflix, for example, or set up shows in modern Harlem. He didn’t give the character a rainbow with a black background (Nigeria, Jamaica, Ghana) like Bioh. Bird wishes he had a great sexy outfit from designer Dede Aite.

Starring Pascal Armand, Julian Rosell Jr., David Ryan Smith, Susan Kelechi Watson, Philip James Brannon "Cheerful wife."
Pascal Armand (clockwise from left), Julian Rosell Jr., David Ryan Smith, Philip James Brannon, Susan Kelechi Watson appear in “Merry Wives”.
Joan Marcus

Be careful not to think “Merry Wives” is non-stop sex. There are also more innocent romance and plots.

While young Anne Page (Avena)’s parents are trying to marry her to a nifty lover named Slender, her heart goes to Fenton, a woman who refuses her father to be with her. It will be directed. (Shakespeare didn’t even come up with this bit).

Meanwhile, Falstaff sent the same love letter to Anne’s mother (Pascal Armand) and Madame Ford (Susan Kelechi Watson) in an attempt to lure them into bed separately. They catch up and turn the clown’s table.

At the start of the show, the jokes are pretty exaggerated. Double-meaning and side are clearly provided, but are interpreted as the aggression of someone swinging at Conor McGregor. However, when the cast relaxes, the comedy rarely misfires.

Kelechi Watson and Almond are especially delicious as wives of plots sneaking up on Madame Ford’s laundromat over the inflamed Falstaff. David Ryan Smith also prepares a meal for the glamorous French-speaking Dr. Kaius, who is constantly screaming and fighting.

However, “Merry Wives” belongs to the excellent Mintrent who transformed Falstaff into the character of “Seinfeld”. The public theater delayed the opening night by two weeks while the actor recovered from the injury. He was worth the wait.

Shakespeare in the park makes a cheerful return with “cheerful wives”

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