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'Merry Wives' production at Broad Stage is missing its director

October 14, 2010 |  5:30 pm


When Shakespeare's Globe Theatre presents "The Merry Wives of Windsor" this week at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, a crucial member of the creative team will be missing from the production.

Director Christopher Luscombe will be unable to attend his own production of the Shakespeare comedy, which officially opens Friday night, the Broad Stage said. That's because he has to fill in for a cast member in the current West End production of "When We Are Married," which he also directed.

Actor Sam Kelly injured his foot and has had to bow out of the J.B. Priestley comedy, playing at London's Garrick Theatre.  Luscombe will be replacing him in the role for an undetermined time period.

The Broad said that for the last two weeks, Luscombe has redirected the U.S. premiere of this production of "Merry Wives" in London with his associate director, Sarah Norman, who will oversee the staging in Santa Monica. The production is scheduled to run through Oct. 24 at the Broad Stage.

Restaging the play for the Broad is no easy task, as was noted in a recent Sunday Arts & Books story about the production. Shakespeare's Globe Theatre is famous for creating the outdoor setting of the famous Elizabethan theater where the Bard's plays were originally performed.

"Merry Wives" has a cast that includes Christopher Benjamin as Falstaff, Serena Evans as Mistress Page and Sarah Woodward as Mistress Ford. The production ran at the Globe Theatre in London and is also set to tour to New York's Michael Schimmel Center for the Performing Arts and other venues in the U.K.

-- David Ng

Photo: Sarah Woodward, Christopher Benjamin and Serena Evans in "The Merry Wives of Windsor." Credit: John Tramper / Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

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Don't let the absence of the Director put you off this brilliant comedy. The show has only just completed a successful run at the Globe, reprising the opening season of 2008. Most of the cast are unchanged and Sarah Norman doesn't just know the ropes, she knows each individual thread. If this is your first Shakespeare or twenty first, you will find it very accessible and if it doesn't touch your funny bone, consult a doctor because you must be in need of comedy bypass surgery. I worked behind the scenes on many of the shows in London and from the first to last left the theatre entirely uplifted every night. Go see it!


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