One of Greater Boston’s most beloved traditions, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s “Free Shakespeare On The Common” takes up residence on the Boston Common July 20 – August 7, presenting William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, directed by Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler.
Performances are free and open to the public, Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 pm; Sundays, 7 pm; and a matinee on Saturday, August 6; 3 pm. (Opening Night/Press Performance Wednesday, July 27 at 8 pm click here to RSVP). To reserve “Friends Section” chairs ($60 donation per chair) or for more information visit www.commshakes.org or call (617) 426-0863. For Weather updates on performance nights, call the CSC weather hotline, (781) 239-5972.
A high-spirited comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost dazzles with Shakespearean wordplay and strong comedic characters and unexpected twists as youthful idealism is derailed by love. The King of Navarre has come up with a brilliant idea to prevent distractions while he and his men commit to three years of study and fasting-simply banish all women from the court. Separating the sexes and hitting the books proves not so simple when the beautiful Princess of France and her equally attractive entourage arrive in Navarre. Devotion to learning gives way to the Shakespeare’s version of “speed dating,” as the men pen love letters delivered to the wrong hands, setting off a series of adventures that turn the whole court upside down.
“Love’s Labour’s Lost for me is a metaphor for growing up leaving behind adolescent attitudes towards love and gaining an understanding of the power and responsibility of loving another person,” says Maler. “We really get to witness the young Shakespeare at work here; he charms the audience, but also creates moments that touch the heartstrings of young and old alike. While one of his early plays, we can see Love’s Labour’s Lost as the beginning of his exploration of these themes, characters, and situations in many of his later works.”
The cast features Remo Airaldi* (Don Armado), Justin Blanchard* (King of Navarre), Jason Bowen*(Berowne), Larry Coen* (Costard), Jennifer Ellis* (Princess of France), Obehi Janice* (Rosaline), Mark W. Soucy (Sir Nathaniel), Fred Sullivan, Jr.* (Holofernes), and Brandon Whitehead* (Boyet). Rounding out the cast are members of the CSC2 company including Jes Bedwinek (Maria, u/s Princess), Rachel Belleman (Jaquenetta, u/s Rosaline), Anthony Cason (Forester, u/s Boyet & Costard), Margaret Clark (Katharine, u/s Moth), Dalton Davis (Longaville, u/s Berowne), Marisa Gold (Ensemble, u/s Maria), Cameron Gosselin (Mercade, u/s Holofernes), Nash Hightower (Dumain, u/s Navarre), Arisael Rivera (Dull, u/s Don Armado), Grace Trapnell (Ensemble, u/s Katharine), Matthew Tyler (Ensemble, u/s Nathaniel) and Colin Wulff (First Gentleman, u/s Longaville & Dumain). (Complete bios at bottom of page.)
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is dedicated to bringing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions to the people of Boston and to exploring Shakespeare’s plays with the Boston community in innovative and creative ways.