He will reprise that role in the zany "The Merry Wives of
Jenness played the corpulent knight Falstaff with a
"It's just so hilarious and farcical and kind of harmless," he said. "The audience knows exactly what's going on, and everybody is quite foolish, and everyone lives happily ever after."
The two "merry wives" -- Mistress Page and Mistress Ford -- are played by
Jenness explained that this play was supposedly written because
"It is said that she wanted to see a version of Falstaff in love -- and love is not on Falstaff's agenda. But finding a way to get money is. So he is going to milk the ladies for their husbands' money. He uses all sorts of three-syllable words. It's very musical," said Jenness. "It's thrilling when you get it right and get those words all lined up in order.
In this play, Falstaff arrives in
"It is a very funny play. The more I read it, the more I realized it is a sit-com like 'I Love Lucy,' 'Mary Tyler Moore' and "The Dick van Dyke Show' rolled into one," said Joseph Stiliano, who will direct the cast of 18 actors.
Stiliano said he has given this production a 1950s flavor through the costuming because the play made him think of all those
"The women are aghast that Falstaff would send such a letter because they are married women and aghast that he would think they'd run off with a fat knight," said Stiliano. "So the women encourage him and then abruptly discourage him in an embarrassing way -- three times. He's so vain and greedy that he doesn't really see what's going on."
One husband is not concerned about these antics, but another is worried about whether his wife is really going to have this affair with Falstaff. That jealous husband is played by
There is a subplot concerning Mistress Page's daughter; she want to get married but her parents each have a different idea about who would make her ideal husband: a maniacal rich French doctor, played by
Other "wacky denizens" of
Stiliano noted that "The Merry Wives of
"Indeed, this is his only work in which all of the people who scamper about in this 400-year-old sitcom are commoners -- not a duke, duchess, lord or princess in the lot," he said.
Jenness said the local Shakespeare troupe works hard to make the bard's word accessible to all audience members.
"Shakespeare really is a man for all time," he said. "We hope we present it in a way that you don't have to be a Shakespeare scholar to enjoy it."
Shakespeare on stage
What: "The Merry Wives of
When: Opening tonight,
Details: Visit capeannshakespearetroupe.blogspot.com or www.facebook.com/CapeAnnShakespeareTroupe.
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