Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Accolades for Delaware Shakespeare Festival's "The Two Gentlemen of Verona"

by Jason Scott

The titular gentlemen.
Photo by Alexandra Orgera

Prestwick House is fortunate to be in Delaware, the home of the small but feisty Delaware Shakespeare Festival. Their performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona last night was a cool and welcome respite after a long, hot day. Although hysterical local TV weathermen do their best to instill fear at the thought of being outside in mid-July, I managed to avoid spontaneously combusting.

The play will never be mistaken for one of Shakespeare’s best, but the lively Delaware Shakespeare Festival’s version made it one of one of my “best liked” Shakespeare plays. Everything was first rate and the “jazz age” theme played out in the costumes and music really worked for me. In fact, the music, composed by Michael Hahn with musical direction by Johanna Schloss, deserves some kind of award for making the best possible use of an unlikely onstage combo of guitar, clarinet, accordion, and triangle.

Photo by Alexandra Orgera
Adam Darrow as Proteus and Emilie Krause as Silvia gave standout performances on a stage crowded with talent. My one quibble is that the first act ran a touch long in view of the fast-paced and frothy vibe the production was going for.

The Delaware Shakespeare Festival performs under the stars on the grounds of Rockwood Park in Wilmington. Local temps were in the 90s during the day, but by the time the sun passed behind the trees, and play started, it was a comfortable 83 degrees with a light breeze.

Jason Scott is the CEO of Prestwick House.

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