Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
In more-or-less modern dress designed by Whitney Locher, Valentine (Zachary Fine) and Proteus (Noah Brody) wear almost identical vests and slacks. Valentine leaves Verona to serve the Duke of Milan (Andy Grotelueschen) and falls in love with the Duke's daughter Sylvia (Emily Young). Proteus proclaims his undying love to Julia (Jessie Austrian), then follows Valentine to Milan and forgets about Julia when he meets Sylvia.
Fiasco's streamlined performance, which runs only about two hours with an intermission, enlists cast members to appear in more than one role. Thus, when Grotelueschen is not playing the pompous Duke, he's Launce, Proteus' servant whose emotional life is tied up with his dog Crab (Fine again, endearing with a black button nose and large, winsome eyes). Similarly, Young is Julia's outspoken confidant Lucetta as well as Sylvia, and Paul L. Coffey is both Speed, Valentine's dimwitted servant, and Thurio, the Duke's chosen suitor for his daughter. To complicate matters even more, they all play musical instrumentsbut they are very good at what they do.
The co-directors, Brody and Ben Steinfeld, allow the cast to romp on an open stage designed by James Kronzer, after the original by Jean-Guy Lecat.