The Taming of the Shrew
Arranged marriage, with the opportunistic groom taking on a wasp-like, unwilling bride, primarily because she stands to inherit a pile of money from her father. And the whole thing’s played for laughs. That’s the agenda in this durable Shakespeare comedy, which has gone somewhat out of fashion in modern times. But director Scott Gilbert doesn’t interpret Petruchio’s “taming” of the prickly Kate literally. Actually, Gilbert doesn’t take anything seriously in this highly physical, pop-culture-drenched cream puff of a show, which updates the 400-year-old script with 25-year-old pop by Whitney Houston, Prince and Pat Benatar. It’s funny and irreverent, though perhaps a bit too much of a good thing. But we admired Carolyn Howarth (in black leather) as the independent Kate and Scott Coopwood as her wild (but ultimately gentle) suitor.
Sierra Shakespeare Festival, by the Foothill Theatre Company, 7:30 p.m. August 25 and 31 and September 6 and 8, Sept. 2nd at 4:30 p.m. September 2; $11-$26. Fred Forsman Amphitheatre, Nevada County Fairgrounds, 11228 McCourtney Road, Gate 4, Grass Valley; (530) 265-8587 or (888) 730-8587, www.foothilltheatre.org. Through September 9.