The Taming of the Shrew | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Taming of the Shrew

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First Folio Shakespeare Festival sets its outdoor production in an 1890s Colorado mining town. While I have to confess that the silly "Wild West Shrew" concept bugs me, the company deserves credit for maximizing the setting's comic potential. There are some rewardingly goofy antics with a stuffed squirrel and some rich supporting characters, especially Ronald Keaton and Christian Gray as jilted suitors and Bradley Mott as a beleaguered servant. Others, like Rani Waterman as Bianca and Jared Dennis as her eventual mate, need to project and enunciate. Aaron Christensen delivers a virile yet tender Petruchio, a Marlboro man with heart. And though for a good hour Erin Noel Grennan as Kate is just mad, eventually she finds the character's intelligent, witty, passionate center. By the end, they've made a satisfying transformation from mercenary ne'er-do-well and shrew to companionable lovers. Yee-haw. Through 8/7: Wed-Sun 8:15 PM. Peabody Estate at Mayslake, 1717 W. 31st St. (31st St. west of Rte. 83), Oak Brook, 630-986-8067. $20-$23.

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