A Merry Show Indeed

Tori+Ganahl%2C+Oliva+Coleman%2C+Audrey+Van+Oort%2C+Emilie+Ross%2C+and+Ellie+Oliver+in+the+premiere+of+the+Merry+Wives+Of+Windsor.+Shows+are+October+4-6+7pm%2C+Saturday+is+2pm+and+7pm.

David Andrews

Tori Ganahl, Oliva Coleman, Audrey Van Oort, Emilie Ross, and Ellie Oliver in the premiere of the Merry Wives Of Windsor. Shows are October 4-6 7pm, Saturday is 2pm and 7pm.

David Andrews, Online Editor-in-Chief

The moment I walked into the building to see Merry Wives of Windsor I was greeted by tie-dye wearing full fledged hippies. They came to offer me flowers and croon messages of peace and love into my ear. It’s not everyday you’re offered roses by a a guy in a low cut tie dye with bell bottom jeans. The mood was set for some psychedelic experiences. 

However, Merry Wives of Windsor, at times, was a rather odd contradiction between old Shakespearean language and the smooth talking, cigarette-smoking hippie culture.

The story follows the womanizing Master Falstaff (Derek Aiello) and his misguided attempts to woo Mistress Ford (Emma McConville) and Mistress Page (Natalie Rudd). Other side plots develop such as the competition for the hand of Mistress Page’s daughter Anne Page (Mackenzie Bloom). Suitors for her hand include the charismatic frenchman Dr. Caius (Kyle Fischer), oblivious Abraham Slender (George Bangs), and the romantic Fenton (Wyatt Scott).

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being in the audience is watching the characters blunder about in the tangled game of love. Falstaff thinks himself a true gentleman and rather attractive. In truth, his advances only create tactful avoidance from Mistress Page and Ford, and eventually hilarity. In one scene, Falstaff is shoved into a laundry hamper and made to hide for some time.

The character of Falstaff is relatable to the average viewer because we all know at least a few guys that think they have serious game when it comes to women, but in reality are rather repulsive and disturbing in their sexual advances.

Will Thames was superb in his role of Master Ford. Master Ford constantly obsesses over whether his wife is cheating on him with Falstaff or not and disguises himself as a cowboy by the name of Master Brookes, to get information from Falstaff. Thames is expressive and animated in the role of the worried husband.

Another point of comic relief was the unintelligent son of the Pages, William Page. In my favorite scene, he dances serenely behind his parents as they discuss serious matters. His nonchalant manner is welcome in a play with so many uptight and scheming characters. While many are attempting to woo their true love he is often off to the side nervously dancing or daydreaming.

The 60’s theme seemed a little out of place with the old English dialogue and frumpy costumes that about half the cast was wearing. However the band playing in between scenes did work well. 60’s anthems from the Beatles and others kept the mood alive. Bryce Slavick, Daniel Langton, Jeff Thomassen, and Donato Ruscitti made sure there was never a dull moment while the stage was set for the following scene.

I am a fan of things that end well. I don’t want to give away too much about the ending but I left the theater pleased as to who ended up with who and the lessons that had been learned by all the characters.

Overall, The 60’s theme was perplexing and contradictory at times, but solid acting performances and an engaging plot made the play enjoyable for me.