Shakespeare’s plays have always been among my favorites with his twists, turns and surprises. I’ve always enjoyed All’s Well and this performance now showing at the BlackBox Broadwater on Santa Monica/Vine was no exception.
For those who don’t know, All’s Well is a rom-com with a twist as one character pretends to be another – much like Tamar in the Bible. The original, of course, is set in 1500’s whereas this time, the performance is set during World War 1.
True to theatre values, the cast was diverse and the acting wonderful. The cast included Cindy Nguyen (Helena), the lovesick maiden who needs to trick her way into her new husband’s bed, Daniel Kim (Bertram), the play about nobleman’s son who really doesn’t want to marry, Dawn Alden (The Countess) and Bertam’s mother, as well as Time Winters (King of France. I don’t believe they had a King of France in the 1900’s but for the play’s sake, they did.)
Other performers were Thomas Bigley as Levatch, Jono Eiland as the comic Parolles, Sean Faye as Dumaine, Michelle N. Grey who played the window, Kodi Jackman as the nurse, Gus Krieger as Lafew, and Tiago Santos as 2nd Lord Dumaine.
While the costuming was excellent, one had to use one’s imagination as there was very little in terms of scenery. The acoustics left a bit to be desired at times.
Will Block, who is the artistic director of the company, was also the director of the play and did scenic design as well as being an actor. Evan Isaac Lipkin served as the producer, but also directs and writes other things.
It’s the Porters of Hellsgate intention to be the first company in the city’s history to produce Shakespeare’s cannon in it’s accepted entirety. Thus far they have done The Comedy of Errors, Cymbeline, Hamlet, Henry V, Henry VI, Henry VIII, Julius Caesar, King John, King Lear, Love’s Labor Lost, MacBeth, Measure for Measure, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Richard II, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Titus Andronicus Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Two Nobel Kinsmen, and The Winter’s Tale.
Tickets for All’s Well That Ends Well range from $10-15 and the play runs until December 3rd. Contact Porters of Hellgate for more information. Parking is on the street.