It’s been one week in the park, and already the Apollonaire Theatre’s outdoor Shakespeare-related production is getting rave reviews and also bringing a little respite during the summer for residents.
Danielle Fauteux Jacques is directing an inventive version of the Tony-award winning play ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,’ and it comes as a relief to those who mourned the loss of the free performances two summers ago.
In 2010, the free show lost many sponsors and the times were exceedingly tough for a theatre group to put on a large, outdoor production for free.
“This is something we really love at Apollonaire, but it’s always a bit of a challenge because it’s a free show,” Jacques told the Record. “In 2010, we had cutbacks and there was no outdoor show, which was a difficult decision we had to make. We had great audience support and people were very generous, but there just wasn’t enough funding to put on a major production. This year, a lot of people locally made a big push to fund it and make it happen. We’ve done this long enough that people begin to think it just automatically happens, but it doesn’t happen without the support.”
The show began its run last Wednesday, and Jacques said they had some big crowds last weekend – with people eager to take in the show and also to cool off at the ever-breezy Mary O’Malley Park on Admiral’s Hill.
“I don’t know why, but even when it’s extremely hot in other parts of Chelsea, it can be very nice – and sometimes cold – at the park,” said Jacques. “That has been helpful to us this past week.”
In the current production, the three-act play moves to three different locations in the park – with the highlight being a scene on the park’s dock right under the Tobin Bridge where pirates apparently ambush the actors.
Jacques said that the play is fun, and is only loosely based on ‘Hamlet,’ while also containing some pretty complex humor.
“We’ve been focusing on modern classics at Apollonaire from the last 100 years or so,” she said. “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is fun because it has themes from ‘Hamlet’ built into it, although it’s a very different story. It really is a fun play and a lively program. It has some slapstick comedy in it along with some pretty heady humor that you have to be paying close attention to get. I think that’s what people love about it.”
One interesting thing about the production is that it is performed in two languages. On Sundays and Fridays, the play is performed in Spanish – with some changes to the cast to accommodate the language. However, on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, it is performed in English.
Playing the lead role of Rosencrantz is Ron Lacey, who appeared in Apollonaire’s recent production of ‘Uncle Vanya.’ Playing the role of Guildenstern is Sean Cote.
Those who attend are encouraged to bring beach chairs or blankets to relax during the two-hour production. Restrooms are provided within the park.
“I think this is going to be a good run and we expect to get a good number of people in the coming weeks,” said Jacques.
The production will run through July 28th, with each production being at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (617) 887-2336 or go to www.apollonairethreatre.com.