Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Festival Offers Full "Measure"

Cleveland Press August 14, 1963

"Measure for Measure" is a play biting in its social satire, ribald in its comedy and cumbersome in the solution of the problems it proposes.

The staging of the play at the Lakewood Civic Auditorium does so well by the play's virtues so that its shortcoming s are almost forgotten.

Director-designer Hal George has given us street scenes filled with beggars and bawds, prisons that reek of rot and a courtroom that is black, gray and drab.

There are moments when its pictures of the seamier side of society resemble a Hogarth painting.

The play comes over strongly, too, in its comedy scenes, due to the acting of Edward Zang as the nimble witted Pompey, the procurer, and of David Ford as the foppish lecher, Lucio.

Director George is consistent, keeping the scenes involving these two and some of the other comic characters bright and colorful, switching to the drab and colorless for those moments in which the austere Angelo figures.

As Angelo, the cold-blooded puritan who lusts after the fair Isabella, Edward Grover is consistently grim and aloof.

Emery Battis wheezes and dodders as the ancient Escalus and Ruby Holbrook is shrill and coarse as Mistress Overdone.

Anne Murray and Donald Moffat, burdened with the longest speeches in the play as Isabella and the Duke, handle them nimbly and eloquently.

"Measure for Measure" is Shakespeare in some of his most poetic moments, and some of his bawdiest. The Festival players know what to do in both instances.