I am no Shakespearean scholar. In fact, I probably studied less Shakespeare in college than the average student. I remember a class of Julius Caesar and another of Romeo and Juliet. Heck, the bookstore has its own Shakespeare section, and there seems to be a book on the Bard every year that breaks out.
But perhaps if I attend our discussion and preview for the Boulevard Theatre's "Love's Labour's Won, or All's Well that Ends Well," I will become slightly more educated. Here's a description of the play from the Boulevard:
"Also known as All's Well that Ends Well, this rare and wonderfully bittersweet romance tells the tale of a physician's daughter, Helena (Shannon Nettesheim, pictured), who is deeply in love with the fickle, aloof Bertram (Chad Laudonio). Bertram, the son of the Countess of Rossillion (Karen Ambrosh), is far above Helena in social status and is immeasurably beyond her reach romantically. Helena can either accept her restricted social standing (and a life of spinsterhood) or she must discover a way to simultaneously lift herself up from her less than noble status, achieve social mobility, and win Bertram's unresponsive heart.
"And Shakespeare's heroine must accomplish all this while curing the ailing King of France (Charles Hanel) from his mysterious fatal disease, confront the Countess of Rossillion (Bertram's mother and Helena's protector & guardian) about loving Bertram, and solve the conundrum of Bertram's challenge (that he will never consider her as his wife until she can get his late father's bequeathed ring off his finger and carry his child).
"Bertram's challenge seems impossible to conquer as Bertram has sworn to the Countess that he will never remove his late father's ring and has publicly stated that he will never lie with Helena and will never allow himself to have sexual relations with her.
"Also included in this romantic entanglement are: Bertram's mentor and ne'er-do-well braggart, Parolles (David Flores, pictured); the Countess' sly & sarcastic clown Lavatch (Mark Ninneman); the King's counsel, Lord Lafew (Douglas Smedbron), the lovely Italian girl whom the young Bertram desires and pursues, Diana (Melissa Keith); the Dumaine brothers who serve the King of France (Paul Madden and Hugh Blewett); the Countess' handmaiden, Violetta (Jamieson Hawkins) and Diana's widowed mother (Barbara Weber). Other local Milwaukee actors round out the large cast."
Nettesheim and Flores will be appearing with director Mark Bucher at Boswell on Saturday, January 30th, at 2 PM. Here's just a peak at Bucher's commentary:
"According to scholars and researchers, contemporary writers of Shakespeare refer to a delightful comedy entitled Love's Labour's Won, which has never been found nor discovered. But recent writings and critical conjecture surmise that the title refers to a Shakespeare play already known to the public and which may exist as a literary composite of a rough draft (Love's Labour's Won) and the later, more mature finished product (All's Well). Some scholars and researchers theorize that Love's Labour's Won is an early draft of either Much Ado About Nothing or All's Well that Ends Well. Many scholars debate over which play is the more likely to be the missing script. But due to the beauty of certain passages poetry of All's Well and the complexity of the lyrical witing and themes, All's Well is judged to be the more likely successor to the title than the earlier Much Ado About Nothing."
It's a rare thing when I'm hoping for more folks at the preview than can fit into the intimate Boulevard Theatre. But Mark's the man to give an interesting talk; I admire his artistic vision and share his taste in culinary deals--we are both fond of Waterfront Deli.
For tickets, call (414) 744-5757 or visit their website.