There’s no better way to spend a Friday night than to be out in High Park watching CanStage’s production of Shakespeare’s comedy, All’s Well that Ends Well. It’s a fantastically dark, yet hilariously entertaining piece of theatre directed by Ted Witzel.
As one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known comedies, All’s Well tells the story of Helen (Mina James) as she pursues the affections of the Countess Rosillion’s (Nicky Guadagni) son Bertram (Kaleb Alexander), despite his attempts to deflect the affections. Instead, he and his friend Parolles (Qasim Khan) choose to enlist in the military, which doesn’t go so well. Director Ted Witzel brilliantly demonstrates how even the funniest of comedies can have a dark side with his vulgar directing choices bringing the audience to laugh both in comedy and in disbelief.
With a minimalistic set design, modern costumes and a soundtrack straight out of an EDM dream, Witzel’s production of All’s Well is a fresh spin on a 400-year-old play that breathes life back into Shakespeare in High Park.
Witzel’s production straddles the line of family-acceptable theatre, and based on the little girl and her mother in front of me staring in disbelief at the “sex toy on a drill” being paraded on stage, I’d say he even steps a couple of toes over that line.
All’s Well That Ends Well has an extremely talented cast comprising of veterans like Marvin Ishmael and Nicky Guadagni and also up-and-comers who will surely dominate the stage for years to come like Frank Cox-O’Connell and Kaleb Alexader. This production is a unique take on the SiHP scene.
All’s Well That Ends Well runs until Sept. 4. For more information, visit canadianstage.com.