There’s a long history of gender-bending in Shakespeare: all the roles were originally played by men, some of whomâ€”of courseâ€”were required to wear dresses. (That’s right, Juliet was a dude.) This may not be news to many of you, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still opportunities to mess with the formula. In “She Stoops to Comedy,” the Shakespearean set-up (a production of “As You Like It”) serves as a backdrop for gender-swapping, sexuality-exploring, and all-around queer mayhem. Sounds fun, right?
Let’s see if I can get this (no pun intended) straight. (Male actor) Liam Vincent plays (female actor) Alexandra Page, trying to win back her lover (Sally Clawson) by starring in a production of “As You Like It.” Page plays Orlando, which meansâ€”yesâ€”a male actor is playing a female actor in a male role. Got it? Well, it gets more confusing, as there are comic complications and unexpected pairings among just about everyone in the show. According to the press release, the script changes, the characters become their actors, and everyone leaves the theater delighted but confused. (OK, I made that last part up.)
“She Stoops to Comedy” officially premieres tomorrow night at the SF Playhouse. The show begins at 8 p.m., and you can buy tickets on the SF Playhouse website. It’ll run through January 10; check back here early next month for my review.
Photo courtesy SF Playhouse.