Posted at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 11, 2013

No discontent here

College performance of 'Complete Works' hilarious, admirable

Rating: 5/5

With no two performances alike even with the same cast, the often-changing “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised]” is a comedic compilation of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in approximately 90 minutes.

Originally written as (abridged) and then [revised] to modernize the production written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, the play was first performed in 1987 and later at the Criterion Theatre in London, becoming the longest running comedy holding the stage for nine years. Acted out in multiple languages, it is currently one of the most popular comedies in the world.

Laramie County Community College’s theatre department production in mid-November added admirably to that list. Josh Kimmel, Caitlyn Fontes and Megan Krausharr used their real names, destroying the “fourth wall” by talking and interacting with the audience in a very impromptu performance. To say this performance was merely hilarious would be a slight to the actors who performed it and the crowds, myself included, who were laughing through the entirety of the play on Friday, Nov. 8. 

For example, I enjoyed how Romeo was portrayed as a modern day emo kid dealing with sexual tension, with Juliet as an innocent blonde portrayed by Kimmel, introduced by dancing amazingly poor to an ‘80s song. Instead of dying, the two love birds mistook each other for dead by consuming a bottle of malt liquor and proceeded to drink themselves into a stupor, which brought a whole new meaning to the term “the poison” for alcohol.

“Titus Andronicus” was played off as a rather…surprising…cooking show. It was followed closely by “Othello” done in a rap to the beat of the intro to “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Afterward, the performance continued as Shakespeare’s historical plays were acted out in a hysterical football game. Tired from football and playing for the crown and worried about performing Shakespeare’s famous play “Hamlet,” Kimmel and Krausharr ran out of the theater, starting the intermission. My favorite part of the play was during “Hamlet,” when a duel between the actors took place. One lost a hand and uttered the coined phrase from Monty Python, “tis merely a flesh wound.”

However, I thought the rap could have been performed better because it was difficult to hear, and though done well, the language could have been practiced a tad more to help separate some of the words from running together. Overall, I enjoyed watching and laughing throughout this play. The use of props and of crowd interaction was extensive from wigs and fake boobs to an orange balloon t-rex and a blowup love doll. LCCC’s production department, directed by Jason Pasqua, theatre instructor, may have beaten the self-proclaimed shortest enactment of “Hamlet,” which was set by the writers/actors of this play at 42 seconds.

Further performances of the “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [Revised]” can be seen at 7:30 Nov. 14–16 in the LCCC Playhouse. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students, seniors and children.

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