TLTs Shakespeare (Abridged) utterly dotty fun

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2009

To the Editor:

If you missed the CWOWSA, hie thee down to the TLT office on South Trade to secure a ticket for the Nov. 19-22 run.

When the first nighters spread the word about this delightful spoof, tickets may be hard to get.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This plays heavy use of corn and cliches seemed to stir up the archetypal inner child of the audience. They became accessories to the tomfoolery of anything for a laugh.

The plays zany script seemed to inspire creativity in other areas as well. The set was framed by walls of graffiti consisting entirely of Shakespearian quotables alive in the collective memory of those who read the Bard.

Never dull, this sappy to-do contains enough swaying, cavorting, gamboling, arm-waving, jumping and dancing to dispel any Shakespeare is boring attitude. And, appropriately, the costumes, props, actors and stage business were utterly dotty. For example, the ghosts in Hamlet: The broad, stooped one sashayed onto the stage wearing wide sleeves atop a too-short skirt that inadvertently revealed brown pants and shoes. The other, a mere wisp, appeared as a semi-stuffed white sock tied to a swaying fishing pole.

Such artifice was perfect for the romp which was filled with such silliness and goofiness that it is guaranteed to crush the barriers of sanity, taste and refinement that are usually associated with an evening at the theater.

Speaking iconographically, imagine Shakespeare articulated in a loud, exaggerated, rural and tangy southern dialect think Hee Haw that leaves them rolling in the aisles. If you cant, you havent fully appreciated the heights, or depths, of Connie Clarks talents.

This play is comparable to, and as ridiculous as, the farcical Pyramus and Thisbe in A Midsummer Nights Dream. Performed by a motley troupe of rustics, this skit inspired the memorable quote by Puck, Lord, what fools these mortals be! It applies here.

Not for the prudish, nor the old at heart, this bawdy burlesque abounds with slapstick, satire, farce, and parody.

Bizzareries rule! As the playbill handed out by the costumed ushers forewarned, This is not your grandmas Shakespeare.

Mayme Sellers