May 22, 2018
by Alexa Chipman
‘The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)’ is a whirlwind parody of Shakespeare’s plays with a trio of eccentric actors, originally created by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Whether interpreting the comedies using Barbie dolls or recreating ‘Titus Andronicus’ as a grisly cooking show, traditional plots are turned head over heels with references to popular fiction and current events, including a rap version of ‘Othello’ with flashing neon lighting design by April George.
Expect zany improvisation with the audience and gratuitous, amusing vomiting, while catapulting through history plays and tragedies at an alarming rate. Jokes are disseminated with the pressure of a fire hose, to mixed effect, in this extravaganza of absurdity. No one is safe from the tomfoolery and impetuous fervor of the actors.
When not directly involved in the action, Zac Schuman comfortably narrates, observing the mayhem from behind a pipe and thick hardbound book. When he takes on the role of Hamlet, the pressure becomes too much, and he collapses mid-soliloquy, in a hilarious meltdown.
Sitting in the front row for this play is remarkably like being in the splash zone atSeaWorld, particularly during Ophelia’s drowning, when Erik Weiss totters about throwing cups of water in the air. His energetic, imaginative interpretations of Shakespeare’s heroines are consistently entertaining.
Donning the mantle of romantic lead, Nick Mandracchia’s Romeo is undaunted by the bizarre version of Juliet, kneeling ardently at her balcony for the famous love scene, and portraying a range of additional characters, such as the Nurse and Friar John.
‘The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged)’ is an outlandish, unforgettable comedy with three skilled actors at 6th Street Playhouse. Jared Sakren’s direction of the barely contained chaos is what he calls a “very naughty…loving tribute” to Shakespeare’s plays.
Craig A. Miller, Artistic Director and active member of the local theater community, has announced that he will be departing 6th Street Playhouse for the position of Assistant Professor of Acting and Directing at the University of Idaho this fall. He will continue in an advisory capacity to ensure the transition, and a replacement search is underway.
Presented by 6th Street Playhouse through June 3, 2018
Thurs/Fri/Sat at 7:30pm, Sat June 2/Sun at 2:00pm
Photos by Eric Chazankin
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