Who says Shakespeare is dead? Last night Betty & I attended the Reduced Shakespeare Company (RSC) production of “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged)” at the South Padre Island Convention Centre. What a hoot!
In about 2 hours of high intensity acting, three performers played 46 roles from The Bard’s 37 plays, combining them into a hilarious presentation which came with the following “Warning: This show is a high-speed, roller-coaster type condensation of William Shakespeare’s massive first play and is not recommended for people with heart ailments, back problems, English degrees, inner ear disorders, people inclined to motion sickness, and/or the humor-impaired. The Reduced Shakespeare Company cannot be held responsible for expectant mothers.”
In addition to all the outlandish impersonations of such characters as Hamlet, King Lear, Lady MacBeth, Ariel and Puck, the show was full of familiar quotes that were twisted into punny expressions that those with a twisted mind like mine could truly appreciate. In re-telling, I cannot do justice to the “Friends, Romans, countrymen…” speech that ends with the death of a Caesar salad; or the comic portrayal of Macbeth’s 3 witches as they stir the pot with “double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble…”. “To be, or not to be…” is compared with Frank Sanatra’s “do be do be do”, and one of the characters pulls out a joint for “doobie, or not doobie…”
At one point one of the actors challenges the statement that all Disney movies are based on themes established by Shakespeare in his plays. In answer, the actors quickly describe elements of Disney movies, with another giving Shakespeare’s earlier take on the theme. Hilarious and amazing that Teddy Spencer, Austin Tichenor, and Marco Antonio Vega are able to remember so many parts from so many plays, and present them so flawlessly!
No pictures were allowed in the theatre, so I must end this post with a pic of the flowers I picked up today for my sweetie, in celebration of Valentine’s Day next week. Cheers!