MacKid Review: Taming of the Shrew

At the New American Shakespeare Tavern

By Dana Spears July 9, 2014
Shakepeare’s Taming of the Shrew is back on the menu at the New American Shakespeare Tavern (NAST) in Atlanta across from Crawford Long Hospital. This show makes a great introduction to Shakespeare for those fearful of being bored or confused by the language. Taming of the Shrew is a comedy about a harsh woman, Kate, who abuses everyone in her life until she is “tamed” by a man who is as head-strong as herself, Petruchio. It’s one of Shakespeare’s funniest and best-know works. 

This NAST version is the most feminist-friendly I’ve seen. In this interpretation, Petruchio (Matt Nitchie) is putting on an act, appearing tough to others while at times wooing Kate (Mary Russell) with his more gentle, private side. I suspect that Shakespeare might be doing some gymnastics in his grave, but it removed any semblance of real physical abuse, except when Kate hits him. If you like a really macho Petruchio or lots of physical humor between Petruchio and Kate, as I do, you might find this a bit tepid. But if you enjoy a new take on an old story, this is for you.

The company of actors at the Shakespeare Tavern performs a number of different plays each year. So, if you’ve been before, you’ll see some familiar faces. Some of the supporting roles were especially strong in this Taming. The character of Tranio, played by Joshua Diboll, is outrageously funny, if a bit bizarre.  And I thought Kristin Storla was effective as an obnoxious (rather than sweet) Bianca. 
Generally family friendly, this NAST Taming of the Shrew is most appropriate for teens in terms of language and Shakespearean (crude) humor. There is one definitely PG-13 scene. I don’t want to give away the joke, but it involves some unusual costuming that won’t go over your younger children’s heads. But it’s fine for most teens, and the Shakespeare Tavern is always a great date-night spot. 

At NAST, the shows are affordable with student tickets as low as $15, and you can dine in typical English style on a meat and potatoes meal, or have you choice of salads. No need to tip. The folks who clear your plates are theater volunteers who work for a free night of theater.

Taming of the Shrew continues through July 20th. For more information on the New American Shakespeare Tavern and their summer season go to

Macaroni Kid was provided tickets for this review.