Metro-East Living

SIUE will stage Shakespearean comedy set in the 1950s

The cast of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” includes Ryan Wiechmann, left, Teryl Thurman, Olivia Foort, Halley Robertson, Amanda Wales and Jonah Walker.
The cast of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” includes Ryan Wiechmann, left, Teryl Thurman, Olivia Foort, Halley Robertson, Amanda Wales and Jonah Walker. SIUE

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumni will take the stage again this weekend to perform the Shakespearean comedy “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” except their version is set in the 1950s.

“All of Shakespeare’s great comic stylings are on display,” according to a press release. “Lovesick boys with wandering eyes, lovesick girls who dress as boys and idiotic servants with plans of their own all conspire to make a love match.

“Part romantic farce and part costume quick-change extravaganza, this promises to be a night of romantic silliness that won’t soon be forgotten.”

This is the second weekend for the production, which is part of SIUE’s Summer Showbiz series. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Metcalf Theater on campus.

The plot focuses on bosom buddies Valentine and Proteus, who bid a tearful farewell. Valentine is off to see the world while Proteus is staying home in Verona, tied by his love to Julia.

“For many Shakespeare fans, the best characters in the play are Launce, the clownish servant of Proteus, and his dog, Crab, to whom many attribute to be the most scene-stealing, non-speaking role ever created,” according to the press release.

The “Verona” cast includes Jonah Walker, Amanda Wales, Ryan Wiechmann, Olivia Foort, Halley Robertson and Teryl Thurman. It’s being directed by Chuck Harper, professor of performance in SIUE’s theater and dance department.

Tickets are $15 for ages 18 and older; $12 for senior citizens, SIUE alumni, retirees, faculty and staff and non-SIUE students of any age with a school identification card; and free for SIUE students with ID.

Theatergoers can park free in Parking Lot F, adjacent to the Student Fitness Center and across from the handicap-accessible theater. For more information, call the Summer Showbiz box office at 618-650-2774 or visit the website at www.siue/edu/artsandsciences/theater.

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