And an awesome dinner at Pereddies in Washington Square in Holland MI. If this is Friday this must be my third completely different recipe for calamari for the week. Oh, yum. And lasagna with meatballs, which I think I've had the last several times I've been there, and (sigh) key lime pie for dessert. The sacrifices that we have to make in order to go to the local theatre and let you know about it here on LJ. (grin)
By ourselves we've managed to go to a lot of closing nights of shows. Both of us have had some involvement with student theatre and it's important to give them support all the way through a run. But with the in-laws in town, we managed to do two plays in three days, so we've an Opening Night to attend...
The Cmplt Wrks of Wm Shkspr Abrdgd
DeWitt Theatre, Hope College, Holland MI, 8pm
"All 37 plays in 97 minutes" -- That's quite a boast, but with sufficient mad genius and some creative license, it can be done. We've been coming to HSRT for long enough now that we are beginning to see plays that they did many seasons ago. We saw The Cmplt Wrks of Wm Shkspr Abrdgd in the Snow Theatre studio theatre eleven summers ago. Three brilliant actors, James Saba, Dana Snyder (known today as the voice of Master Shake in Aqua Teen Hunger Force) and I think Chip DuFord.
Dana Snyder (L) and Chip DuFord? in 1998
That was then. This is now. And this production of The Cmplt Wrks of Wm Shkspr Abrdgd is wonderful, marvelous and absolutely full of energy. Even knowing some of the schtick, there was never an actual false step and they never dropped the ball -- except when they were supposed to. The brilliant performers turned out to be three-fourths of last year's Forever Plaid. Putting it in the main DeWitt Theatre allowed them to mount a big production with so little (grin), including the backdrop to another show this season, Room Service, which they promptly backed a truck through and knocked over. Oh the mayhem which ensues!
L to R: Teddy Yudain, Jonathan Spivey, Michael Hanson
Sitting in any of the front row seats on three sides of the theatre meant you had a chance of being dragged into the play. Hell, it didn't even have to be front row seats. Mrs. Dr. Phil (Orchestra Left AA-3) was "selected" to be sat on at one point, which was funny. Finding Mrs. Dr. Phil's purse on stage with the actor -- now that's comedy. Actually, at one point everyone participates, which we'd forgotten about from 1998, so everybody has a great time.
And yet it is clear that the Bard of Avon can survive even such appalling trimming as The Cmplt Wrks of Wm Shkspr Abrdgd visits upon his oeuvre, such is the strength of Shakespeare. Of all the plays (plus the sonnets), Romeo and Juliet in the first act and Hamlet in the second act, get the most play, so to speak. But I'm not quibbling. This is a brilliant play by a genius cast and if you are in West Michigan, please try to come to Hope College and see The Cmplt Wrks of Wm Shkspr Abrdgd before it is too late. Because the run is, of course, short.