Rollicking comedy part of a rare Shakespearean feast for IWV

Elizabeth Babcock

With the Community Light Opera and Theatre Association’s “Taming of the Shrew” and Burroughs High School’s “Romeo and Juliet” both opening this weekend, Ridgecrest will experience what CLOTA director K. Pearl Woolam calls “the ultimate Shakespeare double feature, right here in Ridgecrest.”

Go to the high-school production and sigh with the world’s most famous star-crossed lovers, then put away your hankies and come to the CLOTA Center Stage for some belly laughs at what Nathaniel Clair (Hortensio in “Shrew”) describes as “a brash, brazen, frolic of wit and charm with interweaving plots of love, suspense, deception, intrigue, irony, and nonsense that fly across the stage in this irreverent adventure of ‘taming’ and ‘courting.’”

“You should come see Taming of the Shrew because this is most likely the only opportunity you’ll ever get to see Shakespeare set in the Wild West,” said Cat Kuznir (Katherina, the play’s title character).

Other cast members also love that Wild West setting. Praising the “mixture of Shakespeare and comical western humor,” Korinza Shlanta (Bianca) predicts that the play will lift audience spirits and “leave an impression not soon forgotten.”

With Jon Lewis as Petruchio (Katherina’s determined suitor) and 14 other hardworking thespians, both new faces and local audience favorites, the play guarantees plenty of action. CLOTA’s well-known behind-the-scenes expertise will also be apparent in “Shrew.”

“It’s a rip roaring good time that won’t disappoint! It’s jam packed with romance, humor and action,” said Nicole Johnson (a tailor in the play).

Her son, 11-year-old Sammy Johnson (a messenger), added that CLOTA is “the best acting place in the world!”

Part of what makes the Center Stage such a great acting place is the intimacy of the theater, which seats only 46 people each night — and that means that potential ticket holders should get to Red Rock Books as soon as possible to ensure their seats.

The premiere performance on Friday, Nov. 2, features a special price of just $8 for each seat in the house, with other evening performances set for Nov. 3, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at prices of $12 for general admission and $10 per CLOTA member, student, senior citizen and member of the enlisted military. CLOTA Center Stage, 1425 N. Inyo St., opens at 7 p.m. for all evening shows, with the play starting promptly at 7:30 p.m.

A special matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 4, has an $8-per-ticket price. The venue opens at 1:30 p.m., with the performance starting at 2 p.m.

Adult content in some scenes makes the play unsuitable for young children. For more information, call the CLOTA hotline at 760-446-2411.

Story First Published: 2012-10-31