Ken Peterson and Tom Smith
L to R: Tom Smith, Kevin Coyle, Ken Peterson
L to R: Kevin Coyle, Ken Peterson, Tom Smith
Sep 09-Sep 24, 2002
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, (Abridged)
NSTC serves up a midsummer night's treat.
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Sun News [Friday, Aug 9 2002, C-3]
The No Strings production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," which opened last week, is long on laughs and worth a short trip to the Downtown Mall. The premise - three actors who decide to update and simplify Shakespeare's entire works into a 100 minute play - is an outrageous concept, and it ends up being outrageously funny.
The production has lots of ties to the New Mexico State University's theatre department.
The actors and director are all connected to NMSU. They'll teach you things you never knew about Shakespeare in this show. Tom Smith and director Mike Wise are faculty members, and Kevin Coyle and Ken Peterson are students in the Theatre Arts department.
Smith, Coyle, and Peterson take on numerous roles, almost instant costume changes and some complicated dialogue (particularly in the closing scene) and do it all while having a great time - as does the audience.
Smith, who wowed audience in "Vampire Lesbians of Sodom" at NSTC, creates unforgettable versions of Juliet and Ophelia, and his cohorts Coyle and Peterson deliver their own zany protrayals of some of Shakespeare's most memorable characters.
Coyle's Hamlet is dynamic, deliberately over the top and one to be remembered. His cooking how persona is also a treat.
Besides looking quite at home in Elizabethan attire, Peterson has a particularly charming style as he chats with the audience, and you may die laughting at his Romeo.
There are rap, cooking show, and football renditions of Shakespeare's classics. The take on "Othello" alone is worth the price of the ticket.
The script by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield lovingly skewers the bard's work and the actors who tackle it, and in this case you can take the word "tackle" literally. There's lots of laughs, lots of action and lots of interaction with the audience.
Scenic and lighting designer for the production was Peter Herman.
Sarah Burns created lots of clever, quick-change costumes to keep the action moving, and Barbara Alford designed some of the most unusual Shakespearean props you'll ever see - particularly Yorick's skull.
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, (Abridged)" runs thrugh Aug. 24 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Downtown Mall. Remaining performances of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Thursdays, Aug. 15 and 22, and Sunday Aug. 11 at 7 p.m., with a matinee on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Ticket prices are $8 regular admission, $7 students and seniors over 65, and all seats on Thursdays are $5.
For reservations call the Black Box Theatre at (505)-523-1223
No seating plan has been posted.