The joint Theater Department of the University of St. Thomas and the College of St. Catherine will present “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, March 15-18, in Foley Theater on the St. Thomas campus.
Tickets are $5 for general admission and free for students, faculty and staff with ID from the Associated Colleges of the Twin Cities (St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Augsburg College, Macalester College and Hamline University). Seating is limited; for reservations call (651) 690-6700.
Directed by Dr. Amy Kritzer, chair of the UST-CSC Theater Department, this production is a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s lively early comedy, with music by Galt McDermot and lyrics by John Guare.
“Two Gentlemen” opens as a pastoral story about two young friends — Valentine and Proteus — who travel to Milan and are educated in courtly behavior. Mayhem erupts by the third act, with Proteus — who already has a girlfriend, Julia — becoming enamoured with the fair Silvia — with whom Valentine has planned to elope. As the love entanglements ensue, the setting shifts from the civilized city to the forest, paralleling the characters’ change in behavior. Throw in bandits, outlaws, disguises, stubborn parents, fun-loving servants, high-spirited antics and even a dog, and a complex but rollicking story results.
Dr. Alan Bryan of the St. Thomas Music Department is music director, and Randy Winkler is choreographer. St. Catherine student Katherine Sophia is assistant director.
The cast includes St. Thomas students Rick Linn as Valentine; Jason McCray as Proteus; Laurie Parker as Julia; Joseph Botten as Thurio; Katie Larsen as the duchess; David Ross as Launce; Andrew Benda as Speed; Andrew Robertson as Englamour; Tricia Swiderski as the milk maid; Dierdre Kennedy as the innkeeper and Chadwick Cook as Antonio. St. Catherine students in the cast are Leigha Horton as Silvia, and Molly McBride as Lucetta. The ensemble also includes St. Thomas students Kjersten Ellinson, Ali Leuthard, Courtney Sabo and Krissy Wilson, and St. Catherine students Donna Cooper and Megan Cummings.
Special guest star is Hunter the dog, whose family is that of Dr. Robert Kennedy of the St. Thomas faculty (and cast member Dierdre Kennedy, Robert’s daughter). According to the director, Hunter’s a natural for the role of Crab. “The Kennedys have lots of kids,” director Kritzer said. “So Hunter is really mellow with this large cast. Let’s hope he does as well with an audience!”
For further information, call the UST-CSC Theater Department, (651) 690-6680.