Measure for Measure – by Crystiona Maiden

April 12, 2013 in Blog by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics

This being by far the best Shakespeare play I’ve ever seen, I loved it. I walked into the theatre not expecting to see something so magnificent.  I expected this play to be something not understandable from the 1600s. But of course I was totally wrong. I understood everything that the play was saying. When I walk into a class room and I hear that we are going to be reading some Shakespeare book, I begin to quail in my seat and wish I was dreaming. Shakespeare has really creative ideas that can be contradictive when reading a book. Robert Falls’ production of Measure for Measure was everything that I needed to see plus more. I think I can say that I will stick to Shakespeare plays instead of the books.

This play was about a man named Claudio(Kevin Gugaro) who was going to be executed. His sister Isabella (Alejandra Escalante), who was a nun tried everything she could to protect him.  Except one thing, Isabella could not give up everything that made her who she was. Angelo (Jay Whittaker), who she had to plead and fight with could not hear anything more than the sound of her lips against his. The Duke put Angelo in charge of the case with Claudio and nothing would get this man to say no to the execution. The play was nothing like sitting in my desk at school, dreading the next line of what Shakespeare had to say. I believe that since it was visual, you will get a better understanding.

The Duke (James Newcomb) was great at playing both roles. I love how director Robert Falls includes the great soliloquy. The duke switches characters and no one in the production understands.  This production was a mix of both modern and medieval, it wasn’t really set back in Shakespeare’s day.  The costumes by Ana Kuzmanic, were more from the 1970’s. I expected to see characters come out in these big dresses and long suits; instead I saw platform shoes, tie-dyed dresses, and lime-green shoes.

I was quite upset with the ending. It throws you a big disclaimer. Also, I didn’t like that fact that her brother kind of shrugged her off after she helped to fight for his life. Claudio wanted his sister to give herself to this character Angelo all for his life, how selfish. Overall, this production of Measure for Measure at the Goodman was phenomenal, and I would love to see it again!