“Shrew” is the latest in Synetic’s series of Shakespeare adaptations performed without words (which, to me, doesn’t make it truly Shakespeare… story line without the poetry, the words, eliminates the thing that makes Shakespeare Shakespeare.) It is performed with dance, music, incredible special effects, mime and sound effects and is incredible to watch. The best way to describe it is to shown their video promotion, which will give you an idea:
Irina Tsikurishvili plays Kate the shrew (if you’ve never seen Shakespeare’s play but have seen Kiss Me Kate, you know who the character is) under the direction of her adapter-director husband, the amazing Paata Tsikurishvili, who has created the “Silent Shakespeare Series, which has won tons of awards and never fails to sell out houses. The music, a mass of hip-hop rhythms, is by resident composer Konstantine Lortkipanidze and is stunning. It keeps the production moving for the full 90 minutes.
Tsikurishvili has set the show in “Paduawood” and made the characters members of the contemporary fashion and arts communities. The characters of Shakespeare, Kate, her sister Bianca, their father Baptista (a fashion designer played with great humor by Hector Reynoso) and Bianca’s suitors who, as you may remember, may not marry the younger sister until Kate has a husband…something that seems highly unlikely to happen.
Along comes Petruchio, a motorcycle riding painter, who accepts a large cash payment to take Kate away and make her his wife, which he does. Kate, of course, is tricked into this and her shrewishness makes her hell to be around. And that’s the point of the piece – how Petruchio tames her and makes her his true love.
The show is filled with fun, the audience laughs throughout, and Irina Tsikurishvili’s performance brings that audience to it’s feet at the end of the show.
It is brilliant.
Unfortunately, we saw the second to last performance and it is no longer open. We will, however, look forward to the next piece in the series, or to any other of the “speaking” plays that Synetic also does.
- Synetic Theater’s “The Taming of the Shrew” – Sensory Stimulation Beyond the Spoken Word (lifeisanexquisitejourney.com)