Looking for easy-to-digest entertainment after stuffing yourself on stuffing? Tonight and tomorrow night, Shakespeare for the Masses will present a free, script-in-hand performance of the Bard’s spiciest “problem play,” All’s Well That Ends Well at the Vineyard Playhouse.
Shakespeare for the Masses is led by Chelsea McCarthy and Nicole Galland, who recently staged similar productions of Hamlet and Macbeth. They want to introduce Shakespeare-the-storyteller to people who are leery of Shakespeare-the-guy-who-writes-in-strange-old-English. Their trimmed-down versions feature a narrator who introduces the story and comments on it, often ironically (“very ironically, this time,” promises Ms. McCarthy). The result, judging from reactions to Hamlet and Macbeth, is an entertaining and enlightening evening, free of pain, free of charge, and full of laughs.
All’s Well is a comedy. Hamlet and Macbeth were easy sells, but, asks Ms. McCarthy, “Who’s ever heard of All’s Well?”
That’s why they wanted to do it, explains Ms. Galland. “We did two of Shakespeare’s greatest hits so people wouldn’t be scared to check us out. Now there’s enough word-of-mouth that people understand what we’re doing, and we’re hoping they come to see the troupe, its chemistry and the concept behind it, rather than a specific play.”
The cast includes Molly Purves, Mac Young, Peter Stray, Alexandra London-Thompson, Brian Ditchfield, Chelsea McCarthy, Jill Macy, Xavier Powers and May Oskan.
All’s Well That Ends Well will be performed, free of charge, Nov. 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. at the Vineyard Playhouse on Church street, in Vineyard Haven. Running time is one hour, 15 minutes.
For more, call 508-696-6300 or see vineyardplayhouse.org.