‘All’s Well’ with this production

Sullivan, left and Bryan get their last licks before wrapping  up a great summer for Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.

All is indeed well on the Boston Common, where the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s delightful production of “All’s Well That Ends Well” is bringing thousands together for free theater under the stars.

Long considered one of the Bard’s problem plays, the dark comedy proves to be no problem at all in 2011. Who doesn’t like a loathsome elitist lothario, a conniving woman hellbent on trapping a man into marrying her or a plethora of quirky sidekicks engaging in a seemingly endless string of buffoonish antics?

Sounds a bit like reality television, but it’s actually Shakespeare as it should be done. Director Steve Maler embraces the plot, works every humorous angle and never loses sight of the fact that this is, above all else, entertainment.

Much of the laughter is directly attributable to the antics of sidekicks Parolles (Fred Sullivan, Jr.) and La-vatch (Larry Coen). Coen’s Lavatch engages in a subtle give and take with the Countess (Karen MacDonald) while Sullivan’s Pa-rolles is the quintessential big, dumb guy hitting on all the girls and spewing lines like “France is a dog-hole.” His Keystone Cop-style chase in Act II is hilarious.

MacDonald delivers a stellar performance as the Countess, presiding over the vast audience with impeccable grace and aplomb. Her longtime colleague Will LeBow proves to be equally regal in his superb portrayal of the King of France. Kersti Bryan’s Helena has an almost “Fatal Attraction” quality that adds great dimension and fun to her supposed innocence while Nick Dillenburg is perfectly unlikable as Bertram, the guy who always gets the girl.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

Local

Man dies trapped in elevator shaft at Bronx…

A man in his twenties died after being trapped in an elevator shaft of a Bronx building early Monday, police said.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…