Falstaff is Giuseppe Verdi’s last opera written before his passing and features comedy that has stood the test of time, igniting laughter in a 2023 audience the same way it did in 1893. The premise is simple; the titular character sends an identical love note to two women, merely changing the names. Both women quickly discover Falstaff’s ruse and declare to get revenge on him. Most of the production focuses on how these women (as well as others) intend to get back at Falstaff. The conversations between the characters and the schemes being played out are outlandishly comical.
Reginald Smith Jr.’s larger-than-life charisma brings a strong comedic energy that lights up any scene he enters. Not to mention, his baritone vocal resonated throughout the Wortham Center Theater with such power and resound; it was both impressive and reflective of the entitled type of character Falstaff is. Other notable characters are Alice Ford and Meg Page (the women Falstaff wishes to seduce), as their lines are hilariously devious; one of the highlight scenes from the production is when Alice’s husband comes home and Falstaff is stuffed into a small woven box by the women to hide the fat knight (who frequently reminds us of his bulgy size) and he’s begging for air. This entire scene, especially the conclusion, is a hoot that is sure to put a smile on your face!
The simple story’s pacing can sometimes feel like it’s about to drag, especially during the multiple set changes each time the location that the story is taking place shifts; this results in being treated to a musical piece that is reflective of the time (yet halts the bare-bones story from developing any further for several minutes- the orchestra will play the piece while the curtain is down and the set is being transformed). However, the dialogue that the characters share, their distinctive conflicting personalities, and the impressive musical numbers are enough to be highly amused by the production of Falstaff.
Falstaff will be performed on November 4, 8, and 10th at 7:30 PM each night.
Ticket Prices range from $25-$210
|Final Verdict:||The dialogue that the characters share, their distinctive conflicting personalities, and the impressive musical numbers are enough to be highly amused by the production of Falstaff.|