The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Mariposa Theatre Alliance, a program of the Arts Council, presented an open air performance of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor by Merced Shakespearefest on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 & 23, 2018 at the Mariposa County Park Amphitheatre.

Bryan Hurd as Falstaff

One of the beloved characters created by the William Shakespeare is the fat, hard drinking, forever joking Sir John Falstaff. He is one of those larger-than-life poetical inventions, seemingly easy to understand as a jester and a drunkard, but he is also one of those paradoxical characters for whom Shakespeare is famous. He is a coward in the war, but stands up courageously to the crown prince, he loves women, but betrays them, he is at home at the tavern, but also can deal with soldiers and nobles, he is a great joker, and he can pull our heart strings! He shows up in the histories of Henry IV, part 1 and 2 as the companion of Prince Hal. According to Shakespeare legend, Queen Elizabeth I enjoyed his character so much in these plays that she asked the playwright to write a comedy with him as the protagonist, in The Merry Wives of Windsor!

Julianne Aguilar and Jessica White as Mistress Ford and Mistress Page

For this production of Merry Wives, Director, Colton Dennis, was inspired by the Golden Age of television, specifically drawing a parallel between Mistress Ford and Mistress Page’s attempts to scheme revenge on Falstaff with television’s most iconic and zany duo Lucy and Ethel, from I Love Lucy!, and their epically hilarious plotting and schemes – pure comic genius.  In addition to I Love Lucy!, Dennis also folds into Merry Wives a bit of slap-shtick from The Three Stooges, dancing from Laurel & Hardy, and a little Groucho Marx for good measure. He’s also incorporated music in the play and you may catch the theme songs to some of your favorite childhood TV shows such as Leave it to Beaver, The Honeymooners, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Family Affair, and of course, I Love Lucy!

The Mariposa Theatre Alliance partners with Merced Shakespearefest to bring Shakespeare to Mariposa, annually.