Shakespeare Festival St. Louis: Love’s Labors Lost
Belonging to Shakespeare’s “lyrical” period, which also included ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ the play tells the story of the Princess of France and her ladies who arrive on a diplomatic mission to Navarre only to be met by a young king and his lords who have taken a vow not to see women. Affairs of state give way to affairs of the heart as Shakespeare reveals with great humor and compassion the way our culture sometimes doesn’t fully prepare us for the realities of love and intimacy. A feast of language and theatrical virtuosity, ‘Love’s Labors Lost’ shimmers with all the passion and promise of a first kiss.
Interesting point of note: “Love’s Labors Lost” features the single longest word in all of Shakespeare’s plays – honorificabilitudinitatibus.
“’Love’s Labors Lost’ is one of Shakespeare’s most dazzling and delightful comedies – and a brilliant study of the ways culture shapes courtship,” Ridgely said. “The Bard’s insights into the different ways men and women love and want to be loved have never felt so contemporary, and the climactic final scene is one of the most moving and masterful in the canon. It’s also the perfect play for Forest Park, with its lovers and clowns cavorting all over the sumptuous royal park of the King of Navarre, and I can’t wait to share it with our audiences.”
Formerly the artistic director and co-founder of Waterwell in New York, Ridgely was responsible for developing and producing more than a dozen world premieres and adaptations of classics. Under his leadership, Waterwell was nominated for three IT awards, a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award and a Village Voice “Best of NYC.” He also adapted and directed Waterwell’s dual-language (English/Farsi) “Hamlet,” which was designed and performed by a company of predominantly Middle Eastern and South Asian artists. Ben Brantley of the New York Times described the production as “conceptually bracing…a magnetic reminder of where Hamlet came from and what he has lost.”