Something Wicked and Wilde Comes to Santa Monica

photo by Steven Koeppe

Scott McRae as Leontes, Lisa Wolpe as Paulina, Andrew Heffernan as Polixenes in A Tyrant’s Tale.

From Old Globe to Ashland’s Shakespeare Fest; from NYC’s Shakespeare in Central Park, to Stratford-on-Avon itself, none seem to have quite the handle on the eloquent works of William Shakespeare like Lisa Wolpe, artistic director of Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company. LAWSC was recently named by L.A. Magazine as one of “10 Coolest Things to Do.”

Wolpe, appearing in “The Wicked Wilde Shakespeare Festival,” has directed 31 productions and performed as the Bard’s leading roles.

She perfectly captures the essence of “Paulina” in A Tyrant’s Tale, a fairy tale “re-adaptation” of A Winter’s Tale. It’s a one hour delight of flowery poetry, dance and magic.

Paulina, draped in black velvet, is portrayed with heartfelt passion; the audience will embrace her emotional clarity. Her monologue, where she cries to the king, “You created all this by your madness,” is a poetic piece, lingering on after show’s end.

A modern take on the classic tragedy Macbeth, the company presents a gender-bent three man performance. Actors (Andrew Heffernan, Kevin Vavasseur, and Scott McRae) inhabit the lines, breathing new life into Shakespeare’s timeless words.

The addition of Lady Macbeth played by a muscular man is a throwback to the original Shakespeare in the Round, which was only performed by men.

The depiction of Macbeth in the guise of three bums hanging around an oil-drum is a clever Waiting for Godot inspired interpretation on the original Shakespearean masterpiece. The image of oil-drums, in light of the current day oil spill tragedy is yet another topical reminder of art imitating life.

Through June 27th
Miles Memorial Playhouse
1130 Lincoln
Santa Monica, CA
800 – 838 – 3006
For Festival Schedule:

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