by Bob Rich
In her uplifting production Play On! A Musical Romp with Shakespeare’s Heroines, Laura Jo Trexler treats us to a tour-de-force performance in a musical journey through Shakespeare’s plays, giving voice to famous women from his classic works.
Ms. Trexler plays the piano passionately, while singing from the perspectives of iconic female characters from Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth and eight more of the Bard’s plays. She takes us through a spectrum of emotions, with occasional dramatic pauses to provide pacing. Her lyrics are full of yearning and vibrant poetry, with descriptions of eyes “such a beautiful blue,” and hopeful refrains that “in our love we can be free.” She is a natural performer, imbuing every chord, melody and sung-out phrase with vibrant emotion.
The stage simply features Ms. Trexler at the piano, with almost no other props. She commands our attention with ease. Ms. Trexler explained that her show gives Shakespeare’s female characters a chance to speak their truth through her songs. We most certainly get to know all eleven of these characters quite vividly. Toward the end of the show, she earnestly sings of wanting to “whisper music to your weary spirit.”
All our spirits were undeniably uplifted, during her refreshing production.