THEATER | DANCE | CLASSICAL MUSIC | OPERA | COMEDY

NORTH TEXAS PERFORMING ARTS NEWS

REVIEWS

<em>The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]</em>

Review: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [revised] | Theatre Arlington


Hammy-let

Gags and goofy get-ups abound in a slapstick-heavy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [revised] at Theatre Arlington.



published Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Photo: Eric Younkin
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]

 

ArlingtonTheatre Arlington continues its 44th season in the New Year with an enthusiastic and sweaty production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [revised] a 30-year-old—and slightly revised—parody of the Bard’s 37 plays in 97 minutes (or so) and split by a 20- minute intermission.

Written in 1987 by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield (a.k.a. Reduced Shakespeare Company), the show was a hit at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and went on to play nine years in London’s West End.  The popular comedy is performed by three actors playing themselves as they speed through the canon, distracted by occasional arguments with each other and friendly chats with the audience.

Director Melanie Mason keeps the spoof within its time-honored framework, and gives her “three men in tights” plenty of room to improvise. Actually, Joe Chapa, Steven Morris and William Kledas are outfitted in jeans and Converse sneaks. They begin the evening with some background info on Shakespeare’s deathless dramas, including a goofy biography confusing the creator of Hamlet with the author of Mein Kampf.  Anybody who ever stumbled his way through a confusing essay question for which he is totally unprepared laughs at this bit.

Nobody in this reduced ensemble worries about costumes. With a sack dress and a cockeyed wig, a long, tall Juliet dithers about and is soon joined by a stout-hearted and stout Romeo, while a narrator declares all the commotion is really about Romeo “trying to get into Juliet’s pants.” Tender stuff.

An argument about the color of the Moor’s Italian ancestry is followed by a chunk of Othello delivered as a not-so-hip rap duo. Rap has been used as a parody sword until it’s worn a bit dull.

The team has the most fun with the physical comedy, slashing their way through a Macbeth battle scene, brandishing golf club for swords and slaughtering their Scottish accents. Cross-dressing is the name of the game in a show where just three guys have to be all the gals, too. Julius Caesar gets little more than a tinsel wreathe and a white wrap, but he minces his way toward his betrayers like a Roman in his best bath drag.

After intermission, and the return of two of the ensemble members who split when they could, the show resumes with the truants back on the stage. The sonnets are written on a card and passed through the audience, so that bulky part of the book is taken care of handily. The troupe at last takes on the great Hamlet, bringing a bemused-looking woman onstage to portray Ophelia, while the guys run all over the stage and cower before a tiny dangling ghost of the Prince’s father.

With the clock on countdown, they rush through “the shortest Hamlet ever,” and even do a credible and crazy job with their delivery of the last minutes of the play backwards. Are they really doing it backwards? Who cares?  The actors here are so breathless and done-in and it’s all so silly, you have to laugh.

That’s what we came for. Thanks For Reading





Dates, Prices, & Other Details

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Hammy-let
Gags and goofy get-ups abound in a slapstick-heavy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [revised] at Theatre Arlington.
by Martha Heimberg

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop Festival of American Song Dallas Winds WingSpan Cara Mia In the Tall Grass Chita & Tune So Go The Ghosts of Mexico Miller, Mississippi
Off Broadway On Flora
UNT Dance and Theatre Open Classicial Side of Fab Dallas Opera Bus Stop
Click or Swipe to close
reviews
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
audiocasts
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
contests
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
crowdfunding
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
studio
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web



Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:


Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:


TheaterJones Section:


Category:
Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Search
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  



Your Name:
Your Email Adress:


please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :
Submit