Last night I attended a performance of The Taming of the Shrew at this year's Free for All at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. I never went when it was held at Rock Creek Park, and this was my first time to the STC. I'd gone on Sunday to wait for the free tickets but at four hours before show time the line was already around the block and the staff said that a lot of tickets had already been reserved for the DC City Council and guests, so I gave up. I went back yesterday, and brought my folding chair, and actually passed the time quite pleasantly writing letters, reading, and listening to NPR.
After finally getting the ticket, I rushed home to drop off the chair and change clothes. I arrived back at the theatre and found that I was in Row B, Seat 109. That is, the second row, and just to the right of center. The view was fantastic, and so was the performance. Granted, it was a little disconcerting to get used to the modern, pseudo-1940s and 1950s vision of Padua and Paduans while the retaining the original Shakespearan text, but it was a really fun - and funny. As in the WaPo review, the performance didn't gloss over the problematic aspects of the play, but definitely gave a Moonlighting-type zing to Katherine and Petruchio's relationship. Also, I didn't expect the play to be so physical; there were quite a few fight scenes, a lot of running around, and one scene where Bianca covered with large plastic bubbles was wheeled across the stage in a bathtub. The actress who played Katherine looked vaguely familiar, and it turned out that she had been on the Cosby Show.