I live in New York, and I go the theatre now and again, so I get ticket offers via email a lot. Most are quickly scanned and then deleted. Some are flagged. And some, like this one:
Kate, the witty, waspish shrew, must be married off before her younger tamer sister. When Petruchio comes in search of a wife, will he live to woo this wildcat Kate? A touching battle-of-the-sexes comedy, in which an unwilling bride has it out in tongue-lashings with her husband while he starves her out of her sulks! This slapstick, misogynistic, controversial tale will leave you laughing all the way home!
prompt massive headdesking. I’m not sure that I have a problem with labelling Shrew misogynist (how else to understand it?), but implying that the misogyny is what will “leave you laughing”?
Well, sure! What’s fresher and funnier than woman-hatin’? What’s your favorite part: when Petruchio enters, insults, an and informs Kate that he will marry her? Or when he keeps her from eating or sleeping, and gaslights her that day is night? Or OMG, the part at the end where Kate publicly humiliates herself ? The Best!
I think you can still do Shrew, but I don’t think you can do it “straight” and expect it to work for modern audiences. Or maybe I do. And that’s the biggest FAIL of all.
Suck it, American Theatre of Actors.