Theater All’s Well That Ends Totally Fucked Up
posted by June 12 at 14:12 PMon
My review of Seattle Shakespeare Co.’s All’s Well That Ends Well didn’t fit into the print edition this week, but it’s online now.
I ask you: Has there ever been a more disingenuous marketing campaign in Seattle theater history? (Or a more ill-fitting dress?)
Romantic comedy? Really? “Love’s healing begins in our own hearts”? Really? Way to make me positive the director hasn’t a clue what the play is even about. It reminds me of people who read the stalkerish Sonnet 116 (“Love is not love / Which alters when it alteration finds, / Or bends with the remover to remove”—shudder!) at their weddings, just because the word “marriage” appears in it. But the production is worth seeing in spite of itself:
… [Y]ou’ll forget all of this soon enough, because the cast is strong, the comedy is undisguised, and the self-hatred and terror at the play’s center busts right through its cheerful packaging. Sarah Hartlett is perhaps an unlikely choice to play Helena, the lovesick fool who throws herself at a lover (Connor Toms, just okay) with full knowledge of his contempt. She’s a bit too old for such mooning, and her huge, goofy smile—much prized in children’s theater productions—disposes us to suspect Helena’s more tender moments. At the same time, though, Hartlett’s reckless energy powers through the fairy story–inspired illogic, making Helena’s bed-trick schemes seem like loads of fun, even when they’re not quite plausible.
Times and info at our theater search.