Classic Couples Counseling

From l, Thomas Anthony Jones, Constance Mellors, and Heather Keller in “Classic Couples Counseling.”

From l, Thomas Anthony Jones, Constance Mellors, and
Heather Keller in “Classic Couples Counseling.”

It was bound to happen. Someone with the foresight and ingenuity to pen the Bard’s most memorable couples onto the stage. And it works. Due to a witty script by Lloyd J. Schwartz, this production realizes Shakespeare’s genius of creating truly compelling and three-dimensional characters. They will live with us forever. The show features Hamlet & Ophelia, Romeo & Juliet, Othello & Desdemona, Macbeth & Lady Macbeth, and even Petruchio & Kate. It’s the who’s who of literary characters, come to life for your entertainment.

The premise is simple: therapist Patricia Cataldo (Constance Mellors) has a penchant for collecting notable clients. At times she discloses more than she should, but that is part of the fun. With Hamlet and Ophelia, we come to realize that some family problems are best kept at home. Romeo and Juliet share their brazenness by getting married, yet have no idea what to do next. Desdemona reveals that she loves Othello deeply, but some dastardly underling Iago states otherwise. The Macbeths simply have too much blood on their hands to be content. Kate and Petruchio prove the old adage that some couples are happier while engaged in continuous conflict.

With a gregarious cast and solid script, director Ted Lange infuses a quick pace, a lively spirit, and quite a bit of laughter. It isn’t often we get to divulge these character’s insight within this metaphor. Lindsay Ravage as Ophelia and Kimberly Woods as Juliet light up the stage. It is ironic that this comedy only intensifies the real tragedies of these classics. As if we get a glimpse of what could have been before they fell to their circumstances and fate. Recommended.

Classic Couples Counseling runs through April 27 at the Secret Rose Theatre located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets call (323) 960-5774 or visit Plays411.com/classic.

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