All’s Well That Ends Well

Shakespeare in the Park: All's Well That Ends Well

Shakespeare in the Park: All's Well That Ends Well

Given director Daniel Sullivan’s surprising use of comedy in last year’s production of Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare in the Park, I thought for sure he would treat audiences to a more surprising interpretation of All’s Well That Ends Well, which runs through July side by side with Measure for Measure at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. However, Sullivan’s rendition swings wildly between hammy and flat, and the few moments of good acting (mostly from Annie Parisse as Helena, Dakin Matthews as Lafew and Carson Elrod as the highly entertaining Interpreter) get lost in the shuffle. Those with a comedic role play up their parts to the point of being utterly obnoxious: the clown is too buffoonish, the braggart Parolles revels much too much in his swaggering Frenchiness and Bertram’s comic timing and intonations are more in line with an ABC sitcom than with Shakespeare.