All’s Well That Ends Well

msipposter08Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. By William Shakespeare. Directed by Joel Jahnke.

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Largely lumped into a group of plays that scholars call the “problem plays,” the problem is not with the dialogue; the problem is that the play does not fall into any neat and tidy category. All’s Well, for example, has elements of romance and elements of comedy, but it’s neither. It has plenty of drama, but it’s not completely a serious play. It has elements of Shakespeare’s historic and tragic plays. There’s even a bit of sex farce. We don’t know what to call it. That’s the problem – but only for file clerks.

Bertram, a young braggart soldier who dreams of military greatness and who places social station above virtually everything else, sets off to serve the King of France. Simply put: he’s a snob. Beautiful Helena, a young woman who serves Bertram’s mother has fallen passionately in love with Bertram. Secretly, she follows him to Paris.

A dying king is miraculously cured by Helena, whose father was a famous physician. Overjoyed at being alive, the king allows Helena to choose anyone in the kingdom to marry and, of all people, she chooses the truculent Bertram. He is forced to consent to the marriage but decides that he would rather die in battle than stay married to Helena and so flees to Florence to fight in the Italian wars.

Playing out from that point in typical Shakespearean fashion – boy hates girl, girl is determined to get boy, boy is played for a fool, girl triumphs in the end – we’re derailed along the way with some of the Bard’s greatest comic writing in a witty, wry story that, in the end, turns out to have been a fairy tale all along.

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Cast

Tonya Andrews
Countess/Mariana
Eddie Bennett
Bertram
Leah Dutchin
Widow
Sarah Loveland
Diana
Joseph Garlock
1st Lord Dumaine
Mark Kuntz
Lafew/Interpreter
Danny Luwe
2nd Lord Dumaine
Michael Perez
Parolles
Christopher Prentice
King of France/Lavatch
Abbey Siegworth
Helena

Creative

Joel Jahnke
Director
Tom Watson
Scenic Design
Claudia Boddy
Costume Design
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