How do you make Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew palatable to contemporary women, given its theme—the “taming” of an angry spitfire of a woman by a man (her husband) who has legal, cultural, and physical power over her?

This year’s production at the Delacorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park deals with the play’s misogyny by laughing at it. “In the very first seconds of the play,”  Pieter Colpaert notes on The New York Times Women in the World website, “a booming voice — instantly recognizable as that of our current Republican presidential nominee — announces the Miss Padua beauty pageant, while a host of bikini-clad women come parading out on stage.

“Framing the gender politics of the 16th-century play by linking it squarely to the present day — a time when the presidential election is being fought out between the first female nominee and a 70-year-old macho man who seems to wear his overt sexism as a badge of honor — this New York City production asks us to consider its misogyny in a contemporary context.”

The  cast is all-female, including comedian Judy Gold, who, as Gremio, does a five-minute standup routine  bragging about “his” manhood and complaining about the play’s female director. Read more about how Phyllida Lloyd’s direction of this “excellent, fun-loving cast   . . . helps uncover pleasures both old and new in one of the Bard’s most popular, but thorny texts.”

RELATED:  At the Women in the World New York Summit, Mary Beard Traces the Origins of Misogyny

 

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