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C M SQ page 37 Y K Page 37 QUEENS CHRONICLE, Thursday, November 10, 2016

Merry Olde England invades the Queens stage continued from from page page 00 33 continued Anyone who enjoys puns, sword fights and men in tights should have a ball. (One word of caution: Don’t be surprised if you find yourself on stage!) There’s also plenty to admire in another current offering, set during a more recent distant past, The Gingerbread Players’ production of William Shakespeare’s comic battle of the sexes, “The Taming of the Shrew,” also staged through Nov. 13. In the play, which should rankle feminists and all who support them, Katherine, the shrew of the title, notorious for her temper and scolding tongue, agrees to marry one Petruchio, who sets out to turn her into an obedient wife, using methods both physical and psychological. David Friedman brings great energy and a stentorian voice to the role of Petruchio, while Joanna Friedman, as his intended, is not the spitfire she might be early on but makes

for a lovely Katherine once the change in personality takes effect. Her final monologue, in which Kate elaborates on why women should always obey their husbands, is one of the evening’s highlights. They are given tremendous support by several members of the company. In a chancy casting move that contradicts Shakespearean tradition, Louise Guinther proves winning, indeed, in a male role, Tranio, manservant to Lucentio, one of a trio of suitors wooing Kate’s sister, Bianca, brought delightfully to life by Terri Matassov. Jim Chamberlain adds another memorable performance to his resume as one of the suitors, Hortensio, as does Andrew Dinan, another longtime Gingerbread Player, as Gremio, another suitor. Ludovic Coutaud plays the lovesick Lucentio too broadly, while Nick Cuttonaro, as Baptista, father of Kate and Bianca, too often underplays his role. The costumes, conceived and built by Joanna Friedman, are simply gorgeous, bringing a great deal of color and period feel to the stage; the set design by Rosemary Favia is overly simple. Director Maxine Lindfors is to be commended for When: Fri.-Sat., Nov. 11-12, 8 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 13, 3 p.m. undertaking the Bard, eliciting performances that Where: Immaculate Conception Catholic Academy, make the language as easily understandable as pos179-14 Dalny Road, Jamaica Estates sible. One odd note, however, is the interpolation of Tickets: $18; $15 seniors, kids; $2 more at door. modern flourishes, such as high-fives and indications (718) 428-8681, royalstartheatre.org of self-gagging to indicate displeasure, which seem Q out of place.

‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’

Members of the company in The Gingerbread Players’ production of “The Taming of the Shrew.” On the cover: Jim Haines as King Arthur in “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” and David and PHOTOS BY MARK LORD Joanna Friedman in “Shrew.”

‘The Taming of the Shrew’ When: Sat., Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 13, 2:30 p.m. Where: St. Luke’s Church, 85 Greenway South, Forest Hills Tickets: $15; $12 seniors, kids; members of groups (718) 268-7772, gingerbreadplayers.org

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