We saw Two Gentlemen of Verona at the Shakespeare Theatre in DC on Friday. We have been season ticket holders for over 10 years. Our philosophy on the Shakespeare Theatre season is that we go to the Shakespeare plays, but we are hit-and-miss on the non-Shakespeare plays. Plays by playwrights such as George Bernard Shaw and Christopher Marlowe are good, but plays by Henrik Ibsen and Harold Pinter are not.
We very much enjoyed this particular production of Two Gentlemen of Verona. The play itself is generally believed to be one of the first (if not the first) plays written by Shakespeare, and you can see early versions of plot devices in this play that he uses in subsequent plays. The staging was also excellent and creative. The characters were dressed semi-historically (with doublets and long gowns), but the set was somewhat post-apocalyptic, and there was music from Rihanna and U2 (both of which, I’m fairly sure, post-date William Shakespeare). The acting was well done, and we very much enjoyed seeing Euan Morton, whom we had seen before as the lead character, Leo Frank, in Parade at Ford’s Theatre and as Anatoly Sergievsky in Chess at Signature Theatre. We think he’s a very gifted actor and singer, so it was a pleasant surprise to see him at the Shakespeare Theatre. The rest of the cast was very good as well, but it’s always nice to see a familiar face in a production.