The Taming of the Shrew: a storybook circus of Shakespeare’s comedic masterpiece

Is all fair in love and war? It certainly seems that way in Adam Silorey’s sparkling adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies.

Taming of the who?

In a “classic battle of the sexes” that lasts a dazzling 90 minutes, Silorey has created a show that combines Shakespearean wit with modern sass. No stuffy Englishmen here! You’ll see cellphones smashed, aviators flashing, water-guns blazing, and derby hats flaunted. Quirky costumes and storybook music accent a spectacular performance by a cast of truly lovable characters.

Will Petruchio tame his shrewish bride Katherina? Who will win the fair Bianca? With so many Italians running about, it’s hard to say whether Hortencio, Lucentio, Grumio, or Gremio will prevail! In the colorful city of Padua, will “such a life with such a wife,” prove too unmanageable? Will prejudice triumph over love “where two fires meet together?” In a glittering collage of masquerading tutors, raging wit, and laughable mishaps we find a light-hearted fairytale that asks some serious questions.

From the Shrew crew

I had the wonderful opportunity to view a dress rehearsal of the play and ask the director and leading actors a few questions. When asked why he chose The Taming of the Shrew for a 90 minute adaptation, director Adam Silorey said, “I wanted to throw Petruchio and Katherina in the wrestling ring and see what happened. Who will win? Is it wit? Is it strength? Is it love? Thankfully,” he concludes smiling, “it’s love.” It only took 17 rehearsals to bring to life the original adaptation by Silorey who calls this “storybook circus” version of Shakespeare’s comedy, “a whirlwind.” Silorey pointed out that The Taming of the Shrew has something for everyone. “I love the characters,” he said. “There is not one character in this play I don’t enjoy.” The cast of The Taming of the Shrew will have you laughing, nodding, and shaking your head at the numerous schemes and playful banter.

When asked what he loved yet also hated about Petruchio, lead actor Brandon Wetch replied, “I love his playful confidence – his ability to just fill any space. But,” he concluded, laughing, “he’s such a jerk.” Lead actress Beth Guarnieri said of Katherina, “She’s a strong woman and really smart,” and by the end “she’s just as strong – her perspective just changes.” Both Wetch and Guarnieri bring a fantastic display of energy and depth to their characters, both bringing a new perspective to Shakespeare’s fiery couple. Their vision for their characters is certainly communicated through their vibrant performance. When asked what their characters hold for the modern audience, both dove into the message of the play itself. “Setting aside prejudice opens the door for love,” said Wetch. Guarnieri agreed saying that the satire of the piece shows that we don’t need, “to snap judgments but to find deeper meaning.” Director Adam Silorey condensed the relationship of Petruchio and Kathernia perfectly. “It’s about breaking down prejudices and finding they’re [both] human.”


You aren’t going to want to miss this brilliant performance by Regent’s talented performers! Come find out what makes a lute sexy and how such a dissonant match was “clapped up so suddenly.” Show times are:

  • Friday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 10 at 2:30 p.m. & 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2:30 p.m.

For further performance and ticket information, please contact the box office at  757-352-4245.


Emily Boulter is a Staff Writer for The Daily Runner.