Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival continues its 28th season with The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Directed by Scott Bellis, Shakespeare’s early romantic comedy is a lively tale of friendship, love and loyalty, with two very funny clowns and a loveable Basset hound that just might steal the show! The Two Gentlemen of Verona plays on the Howard Family Stage from June 29 to September 17.
In Verona, best friends Valentine (Nadeem Phillip) and Proteus (Charlie Gallant) are saying goodbye, as Valentine is off to visit the Duke’s court in Milan, while Proteus is staying behind to be near his love, Julia (Kate Besworth). But at Proteus’ home, his parents Antonio (Paul Moniz de Sá) and Pantina (Luisa Jojic) insist it’s time to expand his horizons and go join Valentine in Milan. Proteus departs, followed by his servant, Launce (Andrew Cownden), and Launce’s dog, Crab (Gertie the Basset hound). At the palace of the Duke (Edward Foy) in Milan, Valentine tells his servant Speed (Chirag Naik) that he’s in love with the Duke’s daughter, Silvia (Adele Noronha). Silvia rejects his attentions in public, but later finds him alone and reveals she has feelings for him. When Proteus reaches Milan, Valentine confides to him that he and Silvia plan to elope, before her father makes her marry Turio (Kamyar Pazandeh), a rich nobleman. Alone, Proteus confesses he also is smitten with Silvia; he resolves to pursue Silvia for himself. He tells the Duke about Valentine’s plan to elope, the Duke intercepts Valentine on his way to Silvia’s room, and he banishes him. Valentine relays this news to Proteus, who promises to look after Silvia. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Proteus, Julia arrives in Milan, disguised as a page named Sebastian, and chaos ensues. Carmela Sison (Lucetta), Olivia Hutt (Hostess) and Lebowski (understudy: role of Crab) round out the cast for this romantic romp.
Set Designer Marshall McMahen has blended the beauty of the Romantic period with minimalist design elements to underscore the production’s themes. Bard Artistic Associate Mara Gottler dresses Verona’s landed gentry in comfortable and practical period garments, while dressing Milan’s aristocrats in more sophisticated yet severe outfits meant to conceal their true personalities. Sound Designer Julie Casselman has created a soundscape that conveys intense emotion and follows the characters’ inner feelings and desires. Lighting Designer Adrian Muir illuminates this romantic tale, while Josh Reynolds oversees the fight direction and Choreographer Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg brings playful movement to the production.
Performance details for The Two Gentlemen of Verona are as follows:
• Previews: June 29 & 30; July 7, 8 & 11; OPENS: Wednesday, July 12 at 7:30pm.
• Runs June 29 to September 17 on the Howard Family Stage.
• Plays in repertory with The Merchant of Venice, which begins previews on June 22 and Shylock, which begins in previews September 6.
- Bard-B-Q & Fireworks: July 29; August 2 & 5 (both stages). Includes a performance of Much Ado About Nothing or The Two Gentlemen of Verona followed by dinner, entertainment by the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band and a private view of the Celebration of Light Fireworks.
- • Talkback Tuesdays: Begin July 4 (BMO Mainstage) & July 18 (Howard Family Stage) – Q&A session with members of the cast following select Tuesday evening performances.
- •Family Nights: July 11, August 8 & 22 (BMO Mainstage & Bard Village) – Make lasting memories with a trip to Much Ado About Nothing. Arrive at the Village early for family-friendly activities including the PIXSTAR Photobooth, a food truck and an exclusive pre-show talk designed just for kids (inside the Mainstage tent).
- • Wine Wednesdays: July 19; August 9 & 23; September 6 (Bard Marquee) – Intimate pre-show wine tasting events with expert guests.
Tickets for Bard on the Beach’s 28th season are now on sale. Ticket prices for 2017 begin at $21. Early booking is recommended for best seat selection as many performances sell out in advance. The full performance schedule, site information and play and special event details are on the Bard website at bardonthebeach.org. To book tickets, order online through the Bard website or call the Bard Box Office at 604-739-0559 or (toll free) 1-877-739-0559.
Bard on the Beach gratefully acknowledges the sponsors who help to make the season happen, including the 2017 Season Sponsor Goldcorp; Production Sponsors RE/MAX, Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver, Lonetree Cider and BlueShore Financial; Media Sponsors Global BC and the Vancouver Sun, as well as other valued sponsors and supporters. Bard also thanks the City of Vancouver Cultural Services Department, the Vancouver Foundation, the B.C. Arts Council, the Province of B.C. and the Canada Council for the Arts for their continuing support.
Bard on the Beach is one of Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional Shakespeare festivals. Established in 1990, Bard is an annual summer festival with a mission to perform, explore and celebrate the genius of William Shakespeare, surrounded by the natural beauty of Vancouver, British Columbia. Play performances run Tuesday through Sunday with matinees on selected weekends and weekdays and concerts and special events on Monday evenings. All evening performances start at 7:30pm.
Feature image: Charlie Gallant as Proteus & Nadeem Phillip as Valentine | Photo & Image Design: David Cooper & Emily Cooper