Hot off the heels of its 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Shakespeare Theatre Company closes out its 26th season with The Merry Wives of Windsor. Starring Veanne Cox and Michael Mastro, The Merry Wives of Windsor is about a down-on-his-luck knight who does not have two nickels to rub together but, nevertheless, finds the scheming aptitude to court two wealthy women. While the conniving Falstaff thinks the two women are falling for him, his plan is thwarted and the two women seek revenge on him only to wreak havoc in their sleepy English town of Windsor. As one of the wealthy women who is the object of Falstaff’s affections, Shakespeare Theatre Company affiliated artist Veanne Cox dazzles in her role as Margaret Page.
As a DC-area native, Cox is no stranger to show-stopping performances on the Shakespeare Theatre stage. After starring in Shakespeare Theatre’s The Beaux’ Strategem and Twelfth Night, Cox uses her acting chops to portray a perfectly happy but bored wife in The Merry Wives of Windsor. “[Mistress Page and her husband] are neighbors and friends of the Fords. They are normal people but there is a veil and underneath it is what the middle class aspire to be,” says Cox.
“This is the only play that Shakespeare wrote about the middle class; about his own people. There are no kings and queens,” explains Cox. The Pages and Fords are a study in contrasts and embody typical middle class ambitions. The Pages are content, generous with their money and exemplify a solid marriage. On the other hand, the Fords are driven by money. “There is a little more tightness with money and Ford is driven by his jealously of his wife,” says Cox.
Acclaimed British director Stephen Rayne directs The Merry Wives of Windsor and sets the production at the end of World War I. “Page is a content and happy woman who has been helping her husband with the business during the war effort. Now that the war is over and she has to go back to be a wife and mother she is bored,” says Cox. “When Falstaff presents an affair she is both offended and titillated but she is not willing to consider his affections so she takes the titillation to have fun.”
Tickets range from $39-$95. Every Tuesday at 10 a.m., Shakespeare Theatre Company releases an allotment of $15 tickets to patrons ages 35 and younger. Tickets are usually limited to performances through the following Sunday and are available in person at the Box Office and via phone. There is a limit of four tickets per person. ID is always required to pick up Young Prose tickets.
The Merry Wives of Windsor runs June 12th through July 14th at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Sidney Harman Hall: 610 F St. NW, DC; 202-547-1122; www.shakespearetheatre.org
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at Woolly Mammoth
As the sun sets on another provocative season at Woolly Mammoth, Anne Washburn’s post-apocalyptic play Mr. Burns, a post-electric play enjoys its world premiere on the Woolly stage this month. Directed by Steven Cosson, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play explores the impact of Armageddon where there is no television, no PDAs, no iPads and no Internet. As a group of lone survivors try to make sense of life without pop culture, they find a common bond discussing The Simpsons.
Set to an eclectic soundtrack, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play stars Woolly Company member and local theater standard Kimberly Gilbert. Chris Genebach, Amy McWilliams, Erika Rose, Steve Rosen, Jenna Sokolowski and James Sugg also star in this futuristic tale of how technology and culture govern our everyday lives.
Tickets for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play start at $35.
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play runs through July 1st at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: 641 D St. NW, DC; 202-393-3939;