William Shakespeare is arguably the most recognizable name in playwriting history, for good reason. From Hamlet to Romeo and Juliet, the English wordsmith's stories are almost universally esteemed.
"The Taming of the Shrew,'' Shakespeare's raucous rendition of persistent passion between a dashing man and a coarse "shrew''of a young lady, is one the most revered plays in the legend's catalog
The good-natured slapstick is refreshingly removed from the darker themes that Shakespeare's other work traffics in.
The Fullerton College theatre department tackled the daunting task of adapting this story with surprising aplomb.
The live performance was captivatingly energetic. Director Gary Krinke's masterfully modern apatation was as pleasing to purists as to uncultured couch potatoes.
The deft intertwining of old English vernacular with contemporary slogans was rarely Iabored. The dialogue managed to move from typical Shakespearean fodder ("I bade the rascal knock upon your gate") to Taco Bell catch phrases without missing a beat. Also thrown in were more sexual double-entendres than an episode of Will & Grace:
The cast was stellar as a whole, with no evident weak points among the ensemble." The legion of bit players numbered in the dozen's, but. some made bigger splashes than others. Rudy Martinez gave a clinic on stage presence in his role as Grunrio, a lowly servant. Stalking the stage with uncommon magnetism, he turned every scene he appeared in into his own with a booming voice and irrepressible body movement.
Despite the extensive cast, "shrew" has always been about its leads Katherina and Petruchio. Played by Shelleen Megan Kostabi and Steven Garcia, the combustible courtship between the two was spellbinding,
Garcia is alternately demanding and debonair with just a hint of deviancy. Mixing rugged masculinity with boyish chann, his portrayal of Petruchio was expert.
The real star, however, was Kostabi. All tart in the beginning, a vulnerable vixen by the end, Kostabi charged every scene that she graced.
The breadth of range that she brandished in evolving from sarcastic to sympathetic was staggering. Teamed with Garcia in the most compelling scene of the production, the smooth give and take between the two was believable.
Armed with the athleticism of, a figure skating combo, Garcia and Kostabi exuded playful sensuality during their scenes together. Garcia; rugged, forceful, shirtless Kostabi; beautiful, coy, and dripping with sass, this is what "shrew" was really all about.
For those who like sexiness, these two contorted their bodies together like they were playing an all too friendly game of Twister.