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  The Taming of the Shrew at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

The Taming of the Shrew

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 East Grand Avenue Chicago

The year is 1919 and, amidst suffrage marches in Chicago, a women's theater troupe is convening to rehearse their upcoming comedy: The Taming of the Shrew. In the play, fortune-seeking suitors compete for the hand of the demure Bianca, but her father has decreed that her fiery and tempestuous sister Katherine must first wed. Petruchio takes on the task of wooing and winning her-and so begins the notorious battle of wits. Along the way, the Suffragettes re-examine the characters in Shakespeare's story, as well as their own status as women in society.

Thru - Nov 12, 2017

Price: $48-$88

Show Type: Comedy

Box Office: 312-595-5600

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Seating Chart

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  The Taming of the Shrew Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...some of the "Shrew" stuff takes on fascinating resonance and pretty much all of West's clubby frame is a blast, especially in the hands of such accomplished female farceurs, all of whom are clearly enjoying keeping company only with each other. The only male voice you hear is one of those muffled cartoon voices coming through the door of the club, a woman's sanctuary, meeting ground and the beginnings of a long revolution."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...the cast of 13 women is top hat, with Crystal Lucas-Perry as Mrs. Victoria Van Dyne, who assumes the role of Petruchio, the fortune-hunter/”shrew tamer” so full of easeful bluster, spot-on male body language, and an aura of entitlement that you never question her gender-shift for a second. She is paired with Alexandra Hendrikson as the fiery and rebellious Katherine, who in “real life,” as Mrs. Louise Harrison, is a young socialite with a blithe sense of privilege and a judgmental and conservative mother (Rita Rehn as the officious chairwoman of the Women’s Club, who is married to a philandering senator)."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...West's keen, amusing scenes -- peppered with contemporary references to Chicago construction, the Cubs, partisan political bickering and popular vote totals -- are interspersed among Shakespeare's in Gaines' cleverly conceived production."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The biggest problem, though, is this Shrew's lack of any real surprises. Given the tone of the interpolated scenes, we sense early on that what we're seeing is about affirmation rather than exploration, and that sense turns out to be correct. The show develops into a feminist pageant, honoring our foremothers in the good fight for equal rights. We spend three hours arriving at a foregone conclusion."
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Tony Adler

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Chicago playgoers recalling other all-female and play-within-play versions of "Shrew" know that if these conceits are to be viewed as anything but actorly indulgence, the metaphor must be as immediately apparent as it is airtight. Fortunately, Second City's Ron West has constructed a backstage comedy replete with local references ( e.g., a rival theatrical society housed at 1616 Wells Street ) for an all-star ensemble led by Crystal Lucas-Perry and Alexandra Henrikson and anchored by sturdy precision-timed performances from veteran character divas E. Faye Butler, Hollis Resnick, Heidi Kettenring and Cindy Gold. (What? Warblers aren't allowed to speak verse, too?)"
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"...Everything about this radical, riotous venture works, in no small part because of writer Ron West’s deliciously funny interstitial scenes at a Chicago women’s club where a rehearsal for “The Taming of the Shrew” is in fitful progress."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...When a director can fill the stage with talent such as Heidi Kettenring, E. Faye Butler, Kate Marie Smith, Hollis Resnik ( who steals many a scene as Gremio and Peter, the maintenance man), Tina Gluschenko, Lillian Castillo (who is the comic relief as Biondello),, Cindy Gold, and newcomers, Alexandrea Henrikson ( her Katherine is among the finest I have ever seen) , Crystal Lucas-Perry ( whose Petruchio is a perfect foil for Henrikson’s Kate), Ann James, Rita Rehn, Faith Servant and Olivia Washington. Who says 13 is an unlucky number. For Gaines and company 13 is by far the best number in Chicago!"
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Barbara Gaines, hand-in-hand with the veteran write/adapter/Renaissance-everything Ron West, show us in Chicago Shakespeare’s stunning 2017/18 opener. By setting the piece as a play-within-a-play, produced by a Woman’s Club such as those that flourished during the late 1800s as a refuge where women could gather, ostensibly to study literature and no doubt trade needlepoint patterns and dialogue freely, unrestricted by the power structure in place in the home and in the country. These characters, and their characters, awaken to the profound questions that Shakespeare flaunts in the play and open their eyes to their own serfdom."
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Aaron Hunt

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Barbara Gaines’ novel approach to Shakespeare’s classic is smart, sassy and all spruced up in this wonderfully intoxicating production. The Director presents a refreshing and entertaining new look at this beloved, yet controversial comedy, offering a fresh and original vision that makes the Bard’s characters and ideas feel more contemporary and significant. Set within Kevin Depinet’s sumptuous scenic design, lit with sparkling, intensity by Thomas C. Hase and accented with original music and sound by David Van Tieghem (along with expert vocal musical direction by Roberta Duchak), this production is most certainly an entertaining show of girl power at its strongest and finest."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Recommended

"...The production achieves its dramatic peak in the last minutes of the play, after the clubwomen's "Shrew" rehearsal ends. That's when the ladies learn that the Senate has approved the constitutional amendment. The elation and feeling of triumph and pride that sweeps among the women is played straight and raises the emotional temperature of the play to new, and welcome, heights."
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Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...THE TAMING OF THE SHREW has been tamed by Gaines. This production neatly ensures that as one voice is crushed into submission, other voices unite in a perfect symphony. The votes are in. This SHREW is a must see winner!"
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Katy Walsh

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...See this vibrant production. A layered cake on a solid platter. A reflection of gender and race, tempered by pentameter during this shit storm of real world racism and misogyny."
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Karin McKie

The Hawk Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"... ​By the end of the rehearsal scenes and the Shakespeare play at hand, every woman is united onstage, donning the iconic Suffragette Sash. It was definitely a refreshing moment to watch considering the current state of bipartisanship in America. If you’re looking for a lighthearted, well-acted Taming, then CST’s show is for you. The story is clear and the acting is effective. If you’re expecting a high-stakes, passionate iteration of the play, then you might want to look elsewhere."
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Cory Davis

Chicago Theater and Arts - Highly Recommended

"...When it's over, you probably won't care if you kept track of the roles because the play and play within the play offer glorious theater. Even though the Chicago Shakespeare production runs two hours, 45 minutes, it's so much fun to watch that the time goes quickly."
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Jodie Jacobs

  The Taming of the Shrew Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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