REVIEW Nobody puts Falstaff in the corner
July 11, 2014
By Gary Zeidner
Now in its 57th season, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival is enjoying a wellearned renaissance. The 2014 CSF is full of interesting, high-quality offerings, chief of which is the uproarious The Merry Wives of Windsor. During the 12 years I have had the privilege of reviewing the festival, I can recall only a few other examples of productions this entertaining.
instead of Windsor, England some hundreds of years ago we find our selves at a resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York circa 1962. I’d be willing to bet that Panitch is a little Swayze crazy — or at least a big fan of Dirty Dancing — because, beginning with the setting and extending well beyond it, his production feels not only inspired by the iconic 1987 film but also like a loving homage to it. (Note to the CSF: If we could get a similar Roadhouse/Hamlet mashup next season I think ticket sales would go through the roof.)
Falstaff is considered the main attraction of The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Michael Winters’ portrayal is spot on: a heady mix of self-assured braggadocio and, especially later in the play, knowing vulnerability. As Mrs. Ford and Mrs. Page, Vanessa Morosco and Mare Trevethan match him line for line and savor each humiliation they visit upon poor Falstaff.