So smart, funny, and relevant (also based on Shakespeare, kind of). By Lauren Gunderson. Lauren Gunderson’s smart and funny political fantasia features three strong women. David Eden Jul 01, 2020 - 08:03 AM. Director Suehyla El-Attar, correctly I think, keeps the speed fast and the volume at 11, so to speak. Katie Rubin’s Patricia (and James Madison) and Monica Ho’s Bianca (and South Carolina Gov. I also feel a need to applaud the dance ensemble…And I’d certainly be remiss if I failed to cite the excellent direction of Robert Currier…” Woody Weingarten, For All Events, “Lauren Gunderson’s uproarious fantasy, ‘The Taming’…zany entertainment with meaningful reflections on our historical and current political landscapes.” Victor Cordell, For All Events, “Can you say badda-bing-badda boom? Title: The Taming; Author: Lauren Gunderson; ISBN: null; Page: 179; Format: Paperback; Comments. In the play, which takes its title and characters’ names (if little else) from Shakespeare’s famous comedy The Taming of the Shrew, Katherine (Caroline Arapoglou) is an extremely driven, somewhat misguided beauty pageant queen who wants her social platform segment in the upcoming Miss America contest to go far beyond the usual patriotic platitudes. Director Suehyla El-Attar, correctly I think, keeps the speed fast and the volume at 11, so to speak. Well, it is…especially in an election year, this Red, White and Blue celebration and exploration of Americana give us extreme and hilarious perspectives on our political scene, peppered with stinging insults coming as hard and fast as a Donald Trump debate. To begin, she has to get the two opposing, deadlocked sides of American politics to speak with each other; the only way to do that in this environment, she’s decided, is to drug and kidnap a representative from each side of the political divide and to lock them in a hotel room until they can compromise on a new version of the Constitution that can correct our busted system. I love this script like a warm Georgia peach cobbler fresh from the oven, and let me tell you — I love peach cobbler. Valerie Weak (a Marin Shakespeare alum) created the Counting Actors Project through Works by Women San Francisco which holds our theatre community accountable (literally) for the numbers of female actors, playwrights and directors on our stages. The situations are cartoonish, but the dialogue clever and whipsmart, an unusual combination. Described by Robert Currier, the play’s director, as ‘a sexual political farce,’ Gunderson’s play opened at MSC the day following the UK’s heavily-politicized Brexit and just hours after San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade….Monica Ho’s Bianca is a bouncy, dedicated defender of wildlife and any other causes she can direct from her Blackberry. (The play is miles away from the quiet, intimate mystery of Gunderson’s I and You, which had a strong production at Aurora Theatre in 2016). There are far more fathers than mothers in Shakespeare’s plays, and far more male than female roles.
Still, the play’s sustained sense of energetic, exasperated, but distantly hopeful satire is memorable and ultimately winning. It’s smart, silly nonsense, which is an achievement in and of itself.” Steven Murray, For All Events, “Gunderson’s playfully ornate language is fresh and funny throughout.Tristan Cunningham radiates charisma as the ever-smiling Miss Georgia…bits of excess are enjoyable in their own right, such as the addition of a silent chorus of other pageant contestants in what’s otherwise a three-person play…the time-traveling Founding Fathers fantasy sequence that seems to come out of nowhere but is an awful lot of fun.” Sam Hurwitt, Marin Independent Journal, ” ‘The Taming,’ Lauren Gunderson’s raucous comedy, presently on the boards at the Marin Shakespeare Company…a wonder, a delight, an all-female, very contemporary political farce that pulls out all the stops… a magical evening, a jaw-dropping event, an original.” Marcy Solomon, Words on Theater, “…cosmic benevolence goes to the Marin Shakespeare Company for its timely release of Lauren Gunderson’s comedy, ‘The Taming’ …it benefited from a confluence of news making events.
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