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Summer starts with a farce at Clack Rep posted on 07/01/2022

David Smith-English, director of Clackamas Repertory Theater’s (CRT) production of “Desperate Measures,” noted that when the show opens this month it will have been more than two years since the theater’s last indoor performance.

“I’m excited,” he said. “It just seems like forever for me.”

The musical comedy offers the story of Johnny Blood, whose life is on the line after he shot a man while trying to save his love. The show is set in Arizona in 1892 with a cast of characters including a mysterious sheriff, an eccentric priest, a corrupt governor, a saloon girl gone good and a nun out of the habit.

“It’s a wonderful show,” Smith-English said. “It has a kind of western tinge to it. The music is so memorable. People are going to go out humming these songs.”

The show is based on William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure,” and Smith-English noted that the plot line closely follows the Bard’s play. The musical also stays true to Shakespeare by using iambic pentameter, a structure of unstressed and stressed syllables, which Smith-English sees as a benefit to the performers.

“It really eases the understanding of the lines,” he said. “Everything has a rhyme to it and it also makes it easier to memorize.”

Smith-English added that while audience members will really enjoy the music and the laughs, they will also get insight into relationships and love.

“You go away reexamining your own relationships,” he said. “It’s very funny. As Shakespeare’s show was, it’s a little naughty, in a very fun way.”

CRT’s production of “Desperate Measures,” book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, music and vocal arrangements by David Friedman and orchestrations by David Hancock Turner, will run Thursdays to Sundays through July 24, at the Niemeyer Center on the Oregon City campus of Clackamas Community College, 19600 Molalla Avenue in Oregon City.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket prices are $40 for adults and $30 for youth (ages six to 25).

For more information, visit www.clackamasrep.org or call 503-594-6047.

This production includes recorded simulated gunshots. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required for audience members, while the theater will also accept proof of a negative COVID-19 test from a healthcare provider taken within 48 hours before you attend a performance.

CRT’s summer season will continue with productions of “The Sound of Music,” from Aug. 4-28, and “The Book Club Play,” from Sept. 8 to Oct. 2.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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