The Taming of the Shrew

“Nobody loves a kvetch.”—Judy Blume, Wifey. Not so!, according to Shakespeare: If you can find a guy who’s desperate enough for her dough, anything is stomach-able. Under the benevolent gaze of the Fremont Troll (I kid you not), Balagan Theatre is aiming to stage Seattle ’s answer to 10 Things I Hate About You (aka Shakespeare’s timeless comedy). With a battle of the bands and a dance number framing this play-within-a-play, the mood's much more akin to Grease than to the ‘90s teen flick. Nevertheless, Annie Jantzer as Katerina stacks up well to her Hollywood counterparts, Julia Stiles and Olivia Newton-John, with a wheelchair-bound roundhouse kick for her unfortunate swain, dominatrix boots and a riding crop, and a wicked cackle to scare the kiddies innocently trying to climb the Troll during the performance. As for Nik Doner (as Katerina’s “admirer” Petruchio) vs. Heath Ledger and John Travolta, I have to say that the local guy was less preoccupied with bewitching middle-schoolers and impressively cuckoo in his portrayal of Shakespeare’s battered warrior of love. Choreographers Gabriela Milillo and Ben McFadden worked in sufficient pelvic thrusts, cleavage mimicry, and other physical chicanery to keep the audience abreast of the Elizabethan dialect. If your posterior can take two hours in a folding metal chair, Balagan’s show is worth braving the crazies of Fremont for. JENNA NAND

Saturdays, Sundays, 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.; Sat., July 11, 2:30 p.m. Starts: June 20. Continues through July 12, 2009

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