June 7, 2023

Shakespeare 1960s Style with ActorsNET Production


PEOPLE BEHAVING BADLY: In ActorsNET’s production of Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” Cat Miller, left, and Shelli Penitmall Bookler discover Falstaff’s scheme and come up with their own plan to teach him a lesson.

ActorsNET finishes its 26th season with a 1960s sitcom reboot of The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, a comedy of sexual jealousy and overbearing egos set against a landscape of summer resort leisure and the “dirty dancing” music trend.

The play follows Shakespeare’s well-known old scoundrel, John “Sinjin” Falstaff, who has become a nightclub entertainer, headlining at the Garter Restaurant in the Windsor Resort. Down on his luck, Falstaff schemes to seduce the titular merry wives, Mrs. Alice Ford and Mrs. Margaret Page, in an attempt to restore his fortunes. He sends them identical love letters, but his double-dealing ruse is discovered, and the two ladies are determined to teach him a lesson. There are disguises, misdirected letters, a “duel,” and a midnight denouement before the tangle is unraveled, the men get their comeuppance, and the good prevails.

“Our cast and crew really brought this 1602 comedy into the 1960s,” said producer Karolina Matyka. “From the costumes that perfectly suit the personalities of the characters, such as Mrs. Page’s youthful polka dot dress, to the energetic music pieces and choreography that make you feel like participating in the talent show from Dirty Dancing — it will certainly be a blast from the past for some of our audience members.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor runs from June 9-25 at the Heritage Center Theatre, located at 635 North Delmorr Avenue, Morrisville, Pa. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.  For tickets or additional information, visit actorsnetbucks.org.