Friday, September 16, 2011

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Chaotic Theatre Company at the Off Center, September 9 - 29

Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged Chaotic Theatre Austin TX

by Brian Paul Scipione

Though This

Be Madness . . .

When accused of madness by Rosencrantz, Hamlet replies, “I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw.”

The players of Chaotic Theater Company’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) are similarly feigning madness half the time. The rest of the time they really are mad.

Complete Works Shakespeare Abriged Chaotic Theatre Austin

With more costume changes than a Lady Gaga show, more pop cultural references than a prime time Fox TV show, and about as mush slapstick as a Three Stooges marathon, Andy Black, Craig Kanne, and Dave Stone-Robb tackle 37 of the Bard’s best works in under two hours. It is a feat that requires boundless energy and concentration as well as a shameless amount of ribald humor that is both tongue in and out of cheek.

They race around the stage and into the audience, they duel, prance, grapple, cook, chortle, and grouse. They employ every possible theatrical device to cover the gamut of emotions and magical moments in the canon, but most of all they make fun of everything in sight: the audience, each other, the classic characters, and the author himself.

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