‘Merry Wives’ meets the swingin’ ’60s


Oak Park Performing Arts Alliance held a 1960s rendition of William Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” from Oct. 20-22 in the Pavilion.

The time period of the play was altered to accommodate a late 1960s setting, British-invasion style, including rock and roll hits from the Beatles and others.

The comedy, originally set in the town of Windsor during the Elizabethan era, follows the story of Sir John Falstaff and his efforts to seduce Mrs. Page and Mrs. Ford, two wives of prominent citizens. The women work together throughout the play to try to expose the man as a lecher. But to their dismay, a jealous Mr. Ford hires Falstaff to reveal Mrs. Ford’s suspected romance. Both women learn of the plan and outmaneuver the men to humiliate Falstaff and rekindle their relationships with their husbands.     

The secondary plot involves a pair of two suitors competing for the hand of the Pages’ daughter, Anne. Doctor Caius, a French doctor, and Slender, a nephew of the town Justice, unsuccessfully try to convince Page to marry them. In the end, Page disregards the two suitors to marry her true-love, a poor young man named Fenton.

Drama director Allan Hunt announced before this weekend’s performances the re-installment of the student-directed Senior Spotlight play at the end of the school year in response to student concerns that the Spotlight play would be cut. The play schedule had already been reduced from four to two productions, not including the Spotlight play, for the 2016-17 school year due to scheduling conflicts with the Pavilion.