Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Posts Tagged ‘David Kelly’

The Imaginary Invalid (2011)

The Imaginary Invalid has a hell of a pedigree to live up to. The play, originally by Moliere, has been adapted for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this year by Oded Gross and Tracy Young, the same pair that adpated Goldoni’s Servant of Two Masters in 2009. Likewise the play is directed by Tracy Young, as in ’09. And as the director points out in the program notes, she has drawn heavily on her own expertise (once again) in commedia dell’arte to guide this production. With so many similarities, and with Servant being such a fond memory for this reviewer, the question becomes inescapable: is Invalid just as good?

To answer, I must crib from another ’09 production and “equivocate” just a bit (ha ha ho ho, I am a wit…): yes and no. Moliere’s original work has far more of a point to it than Goldoni’s does, and likewise this adaptation finds itself more grounded, perhaps more nuanced… which is a fine quality in and of itself but not exactly in sync with the farcical tone that permeates the show for most of its duration.

Much Ado About Nothing (2009)

Photo by Jenny Graham

Photo by David Cooper

This year’s production of Much Ado About Nothing in the Elizabethan is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Primary thanks goes to the playwright (an up and comer by the name of W. Shakespeare) in this, one of his most accessible and easy-to-enjoy works. The Company of OSF, however, gives us a surprisingly uneven rendering that might have caused serious grief for a less-bulletproof text. Mustache-twirling, constant yelling… Hey, they can’t all be the best of the season, right?