Measure for Measure
by William Shakespeare
April 25 to May 19, 2013
West End Theater, 263 West 86th St. (B’way and West End Ave.) Building, theater and restrooms are all wheelchair accessible.
Thurs, Fri, and Sat at 7:30 PM, Sun at 3:00 PM
$18 General Admission, $12 seniors and students
Box Office: Smarttix (212) 868-4444, SMARTTIX
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Frog & Peach Theatre Company “a brave company that is a jewel of Off-Broadway” (Ronald Gross, NY Theater Buying Guide), will present a Weimar vision of Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” April 25 to May 19 at the West End Theater, 263 West 86th Street. Artistic Director Lynnea Benson directs. The classic will be set in the 1930s Germany in order to comment on the corruption and hypocrisy that underlies the smug patina of modern life.
In Shakespeare’s hilarious dark comedy, The Duke of Vienna pretends to leave the city, assigning his authority to Angelo while he disguises himself as a friar and stays to watch what develops. Angelo almost immediately sentences Claudio to death for seducing Juliet, but when Claudio’s sister Isabel comes to plead for him, Angelo shamelessly tries to seduce her, offering to spare her brother’s life for her virginity. The “cleric” persuades her to turn the tables by appearing to consent to the plan but sending Angelo’s abandoned fiancée, Mariana, to the rendezvous instead. Ultimately the Duke resumes his authority and sets things straight again.
Featuring Amy Frances Quint as Isabella, Jonathan Reed Wexler as Claudio, Erick Gonzalez as Duke Vincentio, Eric Doss as Angelo, Marcus Watson as Pompey, Ilaria Amadasi as Marianna, Vivien Landau as Mistress Overdone/Francisca and Steve Mazzoccone as Lucio.
With – Brad Holborok, Oliver Conant, Stephen Siano, Megan McGarvey, Alex Simmons,Julia MacMillan, Flor Bromley, Rachel Handler and Phillip Oros.
Lighting is designed by the award winning Dennis Parichy.
Set design by Andy Estep.
Costume design is by Asa Benally and Choreography by Tom Knutson.
Director Lynnea Benson explains that visualizing the play in a familiar, pre-Nazi society is a good way to illustrate the themes of corruption and fascism in the play. The themes of corruption in the play, however, should not be unfamiliar in our modern perspective. She reflects, “We are still a very corrupt city, but with a greasy face of political correctness over everything…
..BELIEFS TRUMP SCIENCE, AND INSTANT GRATIFICATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN GOOD MANNERS. We are not thinkers any more. In that way, we resemble the world of this play. We are channeling our resources in the wrong direction.”
With recent scandals among extremely conservative organizations and a fondly remembered old Times Square in mind, Frog & Peach intends a full exploration of what some call Shakespeare’s most sexually charged comedy.
About the Company
Frog and Peach Theatre Company (www.frogandpeachtheatre.org), now in its sixteenth season, is one of the Upper West Side’s most beloved Shakespeare resources. It was co-founded by Ted Zurkowski and Lynnea Benson — both lifetime members of The Actors Studio– and is dedicated to bringing Shakespeare’s plays in a way that is thrilling, fast-paced, true to the text, and startlingly relevant to modern audiences. Director Lynnea Benson has directed over two dozen Shakespeare productions for Frog and Peach including “The Taming of the Shrew,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “Twelfth Night,” “Cymbeline,” “Macbeth,” “As You Like It” (with Sidney Williams and Emmy-winner Camryn Grimes) “Richard III” (starring Anatol Yusef of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire); “Hamlet” (with Austin Pendleton as Claudius and The Ghost); “Richard II” (with Mr. Pendleton as Richard), “Macbeth” with Jason Kuschner in the title role, “The Merchant of Venice” and “King John” (with Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno as Blanche). Ms. Benson is Artistic Director and co-founder of Frog and Peach.