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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]

a Comedy
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield

COMPANY : Out of Box Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Artisan Resource Center
ID# 4637

SHOWING : September 26, 2014 - October 11, 2014



Get ready to experience sixteen comedies, eleven tragedies, ten histories and assorted sonnets, all brought to you by three zany actors in 97 side-splitting minutes. “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]” returns to Out of Box Theatre September 26 - October 11.

“The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” is directed by Out of Box’s Artistic Director Carolyn Sheppard Choe and features award-winning (well, if 5th grade theatre participation awards count) actors Bob Smith, Amy Cain and Jeffrey Bigger. All the world’s a stage as these three merry gentlemen (and one "lady") in tights attempt to portray every work ever penned by the venerable Bard.

Out of Box Theatre does offer this disclaimer: “Warning! This show is a high-speed roller-coaster type condensation of all of Shakespeare’s plays, and is not recommended for people with heart ailments, bladder problems, inner-ear disorders and/or people inclined to motion sickness. Out of Box Theatre cannot be held responsible for expectant mothers! Audience participation and laughter is highly encouraged.”

Director Carolyn Choe
Cast Jeffrey Bigger
Cast Amy Cain
Cast Bob Smith
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Well Devised, Little Revised
by playgoer
Friday, October 10, 2014
Out of Box Theatre’s production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) [Revised]" is billed as being lightly memorized and partly improvised. That’s misleading. The actors have their roles memorized just fine, thank you, and the improvisation seems limited to the audience interaction, which is always going to have an element of improv. That’s not saying anything against the production; all elements work together beautifully to produce a rip-roaringly funny couple of hours of entertainment. (Yeah, take that "97 minutes" in the billing with a grain of salt too.)

The three roles in the show can simply be described as the scholar (Bob Smith), the dolt (Amy Cain), and the female stand-in (Jeffrey Bigger), although the doltish behavior seems pretty well spread around in this production. The three blend well in their scenes, except in an Othello rap number where the aptly named Mr. Bigger out-projects Mr. Smith, even in his non-verbal beats, with the contrast in volume making the lyrics more difficult to follow than they should be. The fun quotient, though, is as strong in the Othello sequence as it is anywhere.

Costumes are good, as is Joel Coady’s light design. As for the wigs and wigs and wigs and wigs – well, they fly on and off the actors’ heads in a giddy pace. Numerous props get a pretty good workout too. Morgan Brooks’ scenic design places Shakespeare-inspired, colorful cartoon drawings on the back wall, framing the velvet-curtained center entrance. It all works together with the ABBA pre-show music to give a ditzy disco feel to the whole shebang.

Carolyn Choe has directed the show to have more highlights than can be listed. Very few possible laughs are missed, and the audience interaction is played sparklingly well. The revisions in the script of the show are actually pretty minor, referring mostly to current-day technology (selfies, anyone?), and the abridgement, as always, provides the most comedy by presenting Shakespeare in a slice-and-dice manner that may turn all 16 of his comedies into one convoluted plot, but that turns all of his oeuvre into a phantasmagoric fun-fest. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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