Two Gentlemen of Verona
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Stephen Underwood

Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies and though it shows hints of later greatness, it plays more like a Vaudeville show. But this is not necessarily a bad thing especially when two of the Bay Area’s best actors are cast as two of the principle comic characters. Darren Bridgett as Speed and George Maguire as Launce keep the audience laughing with the aid of Launce’s dog Crab (Sydney).

Speed and Launce are servants to Valentine (Joshua Hollister) and Proteus (Andrew Fonda Jackson) respectively. Valentine loves the Duke’s (Julian Lopez-Morillas) daughter Silvia (Julia Motyka) and Valentine’s friend Proteus has vowed his love to Julia (Laurie Keith). However, when Proteus meets Silvia, he quickly forgets Julia and the honor of friendship and pursues Silvia.

But the true focus of this romantic comedy is more on how amusing their servants find their master’s plights than on the two gentlemen of Verona’s romances. The comedy heightens when Speed and Launce enlist the dog Crab to help them poke fun at Valentine and Proteus. An old long-eared, long-faced basset hound, Crab’s lack of expression makes him the perfect straight man or straight dog.

All and all the show is a lot of fun and the dog never misses a line. For tickets or more information call (415) 499-4488 or visit www.marinshakespeare.org.

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