Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Jul 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Lovely ‘Lost’

AE_loves_labor_lostShakespeare Santa Cruz’s ‘Love’s Labors Lost’ shines
Rap music, dancing soccer players, dreadlocks, joint smoking, and a bicycle cop eating donuts would come as no shock to any Santa Cruzan. That is except, perhaps, as elements of a Shakespeare production. Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s 29th season includes all of these things and then some, and succeeds in carrying the markedly era-confined play over into the 21st century.

Under the clever direction of Scott Wentworth, Shakespeare Santa Cruz breaks “Love’s Labor’s Lost” from its traditionally unpopular role. On opening night, well-timed laughter spills from coat-clad audience members that sit in the UC Santa Cruz Festival Glen and trickles across the wooden set back through a backdrop of redwood trees.  “Love’s Labor’s Lost” is a highly intellectual work that uses the elaborate witticisms of Shakespeare in the 1590s to grapple with the victories and inadequacies of language in relationships. The droll plot tests the oaths of the king and his men, sending them on abrupt forays into matters of the heart when the Princess of France and her ladies come to stay. The play dabbles with everything from love, to loss, to sex, to death, learning, duty, and wisdom.

Jaquenetta (Shashona Brooks), the “country wench” became a dreadlocked street babe, and Costard the “clown” became a stoned skater with a drawl reminiscent of the Westside surfer crew of Santa Cruz (J. Todd Adams). The juxtaposition of characters like Costard and hyper-intellectuals such as the “king,” whose character was something like a university dean, made puns and wordplay clear to the audience by way of high fives left hanging and well-blocked slapstick and

body language.

Anyone who is unfamiliar with “Love’s Labor’s Lost” will be met with an entertaining rendition of a comical play writ with sharp banter and consistent wordplay that is brilliantly executed, with timeless battles of the sexes that stem from mixed-up love letters and messages, and a dark final twist that jolts all involved back to the harsh realities that can taint and complicate human relationships. Those familiar with the show will be pleasantly flabbergasted by its skillfully modern implementation of Shakespearean wordplay, brilliant costumes, and extremely well-employed characters. From a Rosaline whose spunk would oblige the likes of Ani Difranco (Dana Green), to a middle-aged schoolmaster, Holofernes, who dazzles with his sudden MC skills turning a soliloquy into an uproarious rap (Jeff Mills), the play’s characters are particularly well engaged and their energy is catching.

Although the final scene’s commentary on the passage of time is converted into a song that makes it feel as though a bit too much time is passing at almost 11 p.m. on a rather nippy night, the musical talents of the cast and crew were inarguable. The play’s final message that leaves fates up to the test of time is deeply conveyed, and audiences wander from the Glen verbally applauding the Santa Cruz references, bright costumes, and impeccable direction.


For more information, visit Shakespearesantacruz.com.

Comments (1)Add Comment
lost love
written by how to win back a lost love, October 15, 2010
Nice post. I love reading it.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Binding of Edmund McMillen

How a Santa Cruz designer created one of the most unlikely hits in video game history

 

Sun in Leo, Rosy Star, Venus and Uranus Retrograde

Three major celestial events occur this week. Wednesday, the Sun enters Leo, highlighting the heart center of everyone. Leo is a sign of deep sensitivity (along with Cancer). Wednesday is also the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene, one of the most misunderstood women in the Bible. Saturday, July 25, Venus turns stationary retrograde at 0 Virgo (progressed Regulus, the Law, Hall of Records). Venus retrogrades for 44 days and nights, forming one petal of a five-pointed rosy star (pentagram) in the sky (five retrogrades over eight years = star). Venus retrograde turns values upside down. Our usual sense of beauty, values, the real price of things, relationships—all turn into a bundle of confusion. We don’t seem to know anything. Luxury goods are mispriced, values are jumbled, we wonder who that person is we’re in relationship with. We don’t know where our money is or where it’s gone. Venus, in daily life, represents values (resources, money, possessions and quality of relationships). Venus retrograde asks, “What do I value?” Venus retrograde puts us in touch with what has changed and what is truly of value in our lives. Venus retrogrades from 0 Virgo to 14 degrees Leo (July 25-Sept. 6). Leo is about the self and our creativity, which is how we come to know and value ourselves. We “know ourselves through what we create.” In Venus (values) retrograde (inner focus) we will ask, “What are values (not just money and finances)? What are my values? What do I create? How do I value my creations? Do I value myself?” Sunday, Uranus—planet of all things new, revelatory and revolutionary—also retrogrades (from 20 to 16 degrees Aries) until the full moon of Christmas Day. Five months of Uranus retrograde. In July and continuing on through the following months we have many planets retrograding. Things therefore slow down. Everyone’s focus becomes subjective, hidden by veils and curtains. A time when inner reserves of strength are available. A time of protection.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

AJ’s Market

Local cult fave keeps getting bigger and better

 

What do you think of Bernie Sanders?

He’s what we need, more hardcore Democrats. Old-school, ’70s-style Democrats. Tony Dolan, Santa Cruz, Freelancer

 

Hunter Hill Vineyards & Winery

Calling all Merlot lovers—Hunter Hill has released its 2013 estate Merlot ($25)—and a superb one it is, too.

 

Turn Up the Beet

Golden beets with buffalo mozzarella, plus single-malt whiskies and award-winning local Chardonnays