Monday, October 10, 2005

"Cut the crap, Hamlet. My biological clock is ticking and I want to have babies!"

(Image from forgetheatre.org/.)

Congratulations to the cast and crew of the CYHS PAD's black box production of The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged!! From having French with Mike at the end of junior year I got a glimpse of how much hard work and dedication this took for all of them--Matt, Mike, and Juan began working on the scripts last March and rehearsed all through the summer and fall. And it paid off.

I was able to attend the final show out of the three to be presented to the general public last night at 7:00. I was already surprised by the number and variety of people who showed up: there must've been at least 40 audience members (a far cry from the last black box show I saw at Central) and we had everyone from faithful parents to random football players in attendance. But that surprised was greatly diminished by all of the craziness and hilarity in the show. Words cannot do the script, the acting (comedic timing! You couldn't ask for better guys for this show than these three), nor the brilliance of the entire play justice.

A few personal comments though. I'm SO glad I've read Othello because the Othello freestyle rap was incredible. Extra points go to Matt and Mike for crossdressing. The shortest version of Hamlet ever was quite enjoyable, and the final scene (Hamlet, performing backwards) was so in-your-face and rapid-fire that the audience was collectively breathless at the end of the show. And I always liked audience participation gimmicks, even though I rarely participate... but let's just say it's not every day you see one of our football players shriek like a girl on stage!


(Art by Daniel Singer, one of the three writers of the play. Image from Broadway Play Publishing, with whom the play was produced in association.)

Also, kudos to Mr. Zortman for all of his work on this play. This is what the PAD is about. He wanted a solid beginning for this year, and he got it. No question. Here are the director's notes from the program, by the way:

We are thrilled to be able to welcome you to our brand new school, and our new facility--a black box theater. Last spring we decided to do something special for our opening productions, and since then, we have been working on this show and our auditorium opening production (BEAUTY & THE BEAST)

With this being the last section of the school to be finished, there are still a number of things to be finished, but we have definitely moved in and are excited about our new home.

An irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard's plays, The Complete Works is London's longest-running comedy. Warning!: This show is a high-speed roller-coaster type condensation of all of Shakespeare's plays, and is not recommended for people with heart ailments, bladder problems, inner-ear disorders and/or people inclined to motion sickness. We cannot be held responsible for expectant mothers.

All in all--what a great show, and what a great baptism of sorts for the brand new theater. Great job, guys.

BONUS! Check out the Othello rap for yourself. Trust me on this one.

tags: performing arts, theater, plays

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