The Porters of Hellsgate present William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Charles Pasterna, running June 15 through July 22 at The Whitmore Theatre in North Hollywood.
In the midst of The Great Depression and hot on the heels of American prohibition's end, a new film genre was swiftly gaining popularity; 1934's It Happened One Night was far from an over-night success, but by the 1940s, screwball comedy had firmly left its footprint in American film history.
The Porters of Hellsgate have chosen to continue their sixth season with The Merry Wives of Windsor (arguably Shakespeare's contribution to the screwball genre) as a raucous bar romp set in the 1930s. Staying true to the genre, The Porters focus on elements of class and escapism, revel in farce, and order up a round of weddings on the house-all in a breakneck 90 minutes. Running a full six weeks in the summer of 2012 with Artistic Director Charles Pasternak at the helm, The Porters' Merry Wives promises to be one sexy party (with apologies to Mr. Sarris).
When Sir John Falstaff finds himself in Windsor with naught but a scheme in his pocket, everything is bound to go right. With his eye on financial gain, Plump Jack sends out identical love notes to two wealthy women (the Mistresses Ford and Page)--but witty women that they are, the mistresses very quickly undress Falstaff's plots, subjecting him to one merry trick after another.
Amidst the madness of a jealous husband, doting dolts, and the kind of wedding that could get you arrested in North Carolina, mistaken identity, musical numbers, and that most famous Falstaff run amok in this classic comedy.
STARRING: Dana DeRuyck, Sean Faye, Sterling Hall, Michael Hoag, Eliza Kiss, Gus Krieger, Jack Leahy, Kit Leonard, Amir Levi, Lauren Lograsso, Kate O'Toole, Sasha Pasternak, Tim Portnoy, Hilary Schwartz, Lamont Webb, and Dylan Vigus as Sir John Falstaff.
The Porters of HellsGate Theatre Company was founded in 2006 by Edward Castuera, Jack Leahy and Charles Pasternak. Their inaugural production of William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar opened at the end of that year. Since then, The Porters have produced twelve more of Shakespeare's plays: Twelfth Night ('07), King Richard III ('07), Titus Andronicus ('07), Two Gentlemen of Verona ('07/'08), Much Ado About Nothing ('08), Macbeth ('08), Love's Labour's Lost ('08), King Richard II ('09), Hamlet ('10), The Comedy of Errors ('10), The Merchant of Venice ('11), and Troilus & Cressida ('12), as well as Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead ('10, in rep. with Hamlet), an original work, Deity Clutch (originally produced in '10, then remounted for the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival), penned by Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger, and last season, the world premiere of a new translation of Oedipus the Tyrant ('11), translated by resident artist Jamey Hecht, Ph.D.
In 2010, Artistic Director Charles Pasternak was awarded "Shakespeare Performance of the Year" by StageSceneLA for his performance in the title role of Hamlet in The Porters' production of The Bard's timeless tragedy (which also received a "GO!" from the LA Weekly). Also awarded, Founding Managing Director Edward Castuera, in the role of Horacio, earning "Best Performance by a Featured Actor/Drama." In 2011, StageSceneLA honored both Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger and resident artist Liza de Weerd with "Best Leading Actor in a Comedy/Drama" awards for their work as Shylock and Portia in The Porters' production of The Merchant of Venice. It is The Porters' continuing intent to bring powerful productions of classical work to the Los Angeles community.
The Merry Wives of Windsor opens Friday, June 15th, 2012, at 8pm. The production will run Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm, through Sunday, July 22nd, 2012, closing the six-week run. Press Night: Press is welcome at any performance (plus one available by request), but the preferRed Press night is Saturday, June 16th, at 8pm. Presented at: The Whitmore Theatre 11006 Magnolia Blvd North Hollywood, Calif.
Tickets are $20, $15 for students/seniors 60+/AEA. Reservations are available online via BrownPaperTickets.com. Reservations can also be made via our e-mail or voice mail at 818-325-2055 and PortersofHellsgate@gmail.com.