Season 34

All’s Well That Ends Well

by William Shakespeare
directed by Drew Martin*

April 18 –May 24, 2015

Previews: 4/18, 4/21 & 4/22 @7:30; 4/19 @7pm
Opening: Thursday, 4/23 @7:30pm
Regular Run:Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 7:30pm; Sundays at 3:00pm

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When you’re an orphaned woman in a man’s world, there aren’t too many options. But Helena won’t be held back by expectations, and her beloved won’t know what hit him. This mafia-set production of one of Shakespeare’s prickliest comedies asks the question: how far is too far to get what we want? 

Cast:

Helena: Melanie Derleth*
Bertram: Luke Daigle
Parolles: Jeremy Trager
Countess: Susie Griffith
King: Rich Logan
Lavatch: Sean Sinitski♦
Lafew: Sandy Elias♦
Widow: Kimberly Logan♦
First Lord: Matt Pierce
Second Lord: Nick Mikula
Diana: Heather Chrisler
Duke/Gentle Astringer: Michael Reyes
1st Soldier: Madison Niederhauser
Rinalda/Mariana: Rinska Carrasco
 

 

Production Team:

Stage Manager: Jason Crutchfield*
Production Manager: Emmaline Keddy-Hector^
Scenic Designer: Alan Donahue
Lighting Designer: Maya Michele Fein
Costume Designer: Theresa Ham♦
Props Designer: Scott Dickens
Sound Designer: Jeffrey Levin
Technical Director
:
 Joe Schermoly♦
Vocal Coach: Tom Wells
Dialect Coach: Jason A. Fleece*
Assistant Director: Conner Wilson
Dramaturg: Annaliese McSweeney^
Assoc. Production Manager: Krista Mickelson
Stage Management Intern:
 Adam Greye
Asst. Lighting Designer: Jesse Itskowitz
Graphic DesignSeam Studios
Photographer: Johnny Knight     

*Ensemble Member    ♦Artistic Associate    ^ Stage Left Staff

The designation of “Jeff Recommended” is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the opening night judges of The Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee. The entire production is then eligible for nomination for awards at the end of the season.
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Press

“If ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ is, as some critics insist, a ‘problem comedy,’ then director Drew Martin, by setting the play in the Mafia-land of television’s popular series, “The Sopranos,” has smeared, if not completely erased, the comedy’s challenges by darkening the dramatics and upping the merriment, giving Stage Left Theatre a most happy surprise.” — Aaron Hunt, New City

“Skilled director Drew Martin, helming Stage Left Theatre’s ‘All’s Well That Ends Well,’ transforms the setting of the play to mid-20th century America, and in doing so explores the play’s themes of power and gender politics in a remarkably refreshed way. Cemented by a capable cast, “All’s Well” is a quality finish to Stage Left’s 33rd season. Indeed, though it is Martin’s unique vision that pulls us in, it is the talent and skill of his cast that keeps us enthralled. Derleth is luminous as Helena, Griffith commanding as the Countess, Chrisler a spitfire as Diana. Kimberly Logan, as the Miami-based Widow of the second act, is comic gold, and Rich Logan is wonderful as the King. It is Trager, however, that steals the show, offering a layered performance as Parolles, a character that undergoes the most transformation out of any in the play.” —Colleen Cottet, Edge

“Within this cartoon universe, Helena’s pursuit of the not-yet-ready-to-settle-down Bertram takes on the playfulness of a giddy-young-lovers comedy—just like its author always said it was.” —Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times

 “a dynamic, mobster infused version of Shakespeare’s comedic classic… this production is sure to leave audience members laughing, while also helping them to engage more easily with one of Shakespeare’s trickiest plots… The most outstanding element of this production of All’s Well That Ends Well is the dynamic costume design from Stage Left artistic associate, Theresa Ham. Her quirky costumes choices not only perfectly portray the late 50’s mobster style, but also suit the personality and residence of each character flawlessly.” —Rebecca Curl, Chicago Stage Standard

“Building on a simple, solid, amusing insight—that Renaissance princes acted an awful lot like mob bosses—director Drew Martin has updated Shakespeare’s problem play to the late 1950s and reimagined the king of France and duke of Florence as dons fighting it out a la The Godfather, Part II.” —Tony Adler, Chicago Reader

“Melanie Derleth makes the momentous task of playing Helena seem like a walk in the park; every moment is real and sure, and for the little time she is offstage, the world is a gloomier place. Luke Daigle throws himself fervently at the playing of the most despicable leading youth in the canon; Daigle plays Bertram’s reformation from the heart. Rich Logan’s King is elegant and earthy, kind and killing, replete with kissable ring and an Italian suit. Sandy Elias is a warm-and-fuzzy Lafew with a backbone, and Sean Sinitski’s hysterical, knowing Lavatch is a lesson in acting Shakespeare’s wise clowns. Michael Reyes both amuses and frightens, expertly delineating the roles of the Duke and the Astringer. Perhaps the most ubiquitous success of the production is Jeremy Trager’s Parolles. Expert at playing an undercurrent of malevolence, Trager makes believable Parolles’ transition from cocksure self-absorption to defeated self-awareness.” — Aaron Hunt, New City

“Deftly directed by Stage Left Ensemble member Drew Martin, this oft forgotten bard play moved quickly and entertainingly through the story of power and war. The scarf ensconced liar, Parolles was a stand out for me. Jeremy Trager’s energy and characterization gave this part life and laughs. Well done. I also enjoyed Rich Logan’s rich take as the “mob king”.  The over the top Miami group of Widow (Kimberly Logan) and her daughter Diana (Heather Christler) were a second act tropical breeze of energy and just plain funny… The music design (Jeffrey Levin) cannot be overlooked, for so many of the songs set up the scenes so well and brought us to that familiar 50’s flair.” —Lazlo Collins, Chicago Theatre Review