Robert Harry Score’s Review of The Taming of the Shrew (Twisted and Turned)

July 20, 2019

Salesian Park

Cornerstone Theatre Arts

Goshen

     There’s something unique about watching Shakespeare in Goshen’s historic Salesian Park on a warm summer afternoon. It’s as American as fireworks, mom’s apple pie, pizza, and spumoni ice cream. To accommodate the flimsy similes, this Bard’s romantic comedy is set in Italy.

As it was a hot and sizzling Saturday afternoon, the dedicated thespians of Cornerstone Theatre Arts gleefully presented Brittany Pierce-Caiazza’s “Twisted and Turned” adaptation of Shakespeare’s unforgettable The Taming of the Shrew. In this case “Twisted and Turned” happens to also be “turned and twisted” creating a hilariously, contemporary afternoon of theatre by Cornerstone’s Ms. Pierce-Caiazza.

In this clever, comical telling of the notorious tale, genders are jumbled up just a bit. Surprisingly, this is a device not uncommon in today’s popular culture. Consider the upcoming James Bond installment with a female 007 and even a female Thor coming up in a future Avengers’ movie. In this version, the leading shrewish lady becomes a shrewish young man. The suitor, originally a young man by Mr. Shakespeare’s pen, now a woman by Ms. Pierce-Caiazza’s pen. Under Cornerstone’s Ken Tshan’s nimble direction, this tale of reversed-gendered romantic sparring raises both abundant chuckles and a few eyebrows.

Notwithstanding, this energetic and fun-loving cast keeps the action light, raucous, and fast moving. David Camacho and Sara Johnson, the leading man and lady (or leading lady and leading man if you prefer) (or leading person and leading other person if that better serves your sensibilities) make this twisted and turned rendition fun and entertaining. Ethan Henkler and Alexandra Lakis stand out as the other romantic interests not altered by Brittany. The rest of the cast, Emma Jorgensen, Bruce Gluckman, Kevin McDonnel, Ben Hudson, and Thom Gomez round out in a strong, entertaining performance consistent with the established reputation of Cornerstone Theatre Arts.

The Taming of the Shrew will continue its uproarious run at Goshen’s Salesian Park on July 27th and 28th. The script adapted by Brirttny-Caiazza is directed by Ken Tschan. Sponsored by the Goshen Public Library and Historical Society; performances happen rain or shine under the big tent, admission is free; bring a lawn chair and enjoy a summer treat.

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