A Winter's Tale at the Guthrie

Jealousy, death, love, and reunion, all in three hours or less.

Even though Punxsutawney Phil reported that spring will come early this year, it’s hard to imagine on this cold February day. But take heart: This, too, will pass! A great reminder that even the bleakest, coldest, wintriest of days have an expiration date is Shakespeare’s play, A Winter’s Tale, currently showing at the Guthrie.

Proclaimed a tragi-comedy by critics, the show captures both the bitterness of winter as well as the joy of spring. The parallels are mostly metaphorical (winter being translated as King Leontes’s icy disposition and multiple deaths in the first act; spring shown through love, humor, and singing in the second act), but the Guthrie does a terrific job at materializing the symbolism through props, too: silver decorations and low lighting to depict winter, and birch trees, flowers, and plenty of color to depict spring.

Director Jonathan Munby adds a twist to the play by setting it in the 1960s, a clever way to draw in audiences otherwise hesitant toward attending Shakespeare productions. If you fall into that category, this is the play for you: jealousy and regret, young love and cheesy disguises, death and deception…what’s not to like? Best of all, it’s a great way to forget about the cold reality that is our own winter’s tale.

A Winter’s Tale
Now through March 27, 2011
Guthrie Theater, 818 S. Second St., Mpls., 612-377-2224, guthrietheater.org

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