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A CurtainUp New Jersey Review
Shakespeare in Vegas
In Suzanne Bradbeer's very funny comedy, Shakespeare in Vegas, we see how frustrating it is for Margo to work with actors who have no discernable talent and no previous experience playing Shakespeare, as well as to fulfill entrepreneur Tony's pledge to his dying grandmother to "bring Shakespeare to the new world." That Tony carries the burden of a generations-old family curse, even as he is the target of a rival family's vendetta, adds a bit of goofy grit and some gunplay to the plot.
Laughs are abundant as Margot tries to make the most of her first production Antony and Cleopatra casting herself as "the queen of the g.d. Nile and hoping to get decent support from her handmaidens - a strip stripper Collette (Rachel Lee) who is mainly concerned with balancing her boobs in the skimpy and sparkling Egyptian attire and a jealous, loud-mouthed and curvaceous Hooter's employee Merrie Jo (Jessica O'Hara).
For her second production, Romeo and Juliet, she has to deal with the insecurities of a twenty-something, handsome ex con Mike (Barron B. Bass) who has never set foot on a stage or held a sword, but who gets some extra sexual encouragement from Merrie Jo. Expect more hilarity when the Scottish Play hits the boards and a hit man appears (also played by Bass) and interferes with Tony's ambitious plans to give the customers "tits and ass and iambic pentameter."
Under John Pietrowski's nimble direction, the silliness of the premise is buoyed by the crackling, crisply delivered dialogue. However modestly designed, all of the various locations allow opportunities for the five excellent actors to get into the full spirit of this fast-moving romp. A co-production of Dreamcatcher Rep & Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Shakespeare in Vegas will undoubtedly add to the award-winning playwright's growing canon of acclaimed plays that includes Full Bloom produced at the Barrington Stage in 2000. Word of mouth should generate good houses before the end of this all-too-short run.
Book of Mormon -CD
Our review of the show
Slings & Arrows-the complete set
You don't have to be a Shakespeare aficionado to love all 21 episodes of this hilarious and moving Canadian TV series about a fictional Shakespeare Company