Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

Hold on to Your Seat as The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) Takes Off

The cast includes (from left) Daryl Ray Carliles, Lorelei Lemon, and Greg Guiliano

The cast includes (from left) Daryl Ray Carliles, Lorelei Lemon, and Greg Guiliano

For the next few weeks, a trio of actors — Lorelei Lemon, Greg Guiliano, and Daryl Ray Carliles — will take Cary Players patrons on a madcap 90-minute ride through all 37 plays of William Shakespeare as they perform The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised]. You do the math, and then hold onto your seat.

Skulls and rapiers are gonna fly. With the boys playing girl’s characters and Lorelei playing boys, the show has a zany, Monty Python feel to it. (They even use coconuts to make the sounds of galloping horses!)

Lorelei was our emcee as well as a player, and she did a knockout job at both. She has great timing and provided the perfect entrée into the evening’s festivities.

The set is a mishmash of crates and boxes, covered with props, swords, hats, and beards. Kudos to set designer Jeffrey Nugent for the simple design that gave the actors a place to dash offstage to change costumes in record time. Costume designer Carol Love did a great job, too. The velveteen pantaloons and tunics had the feel of Shakespeare’s day without being too serious, yet the fasteners allowed the actors to make their costume changes super fast.

Pictured (from left) are Daryl Ray Carliles, Lorelei Lemon, and Greg Guiliano (photo by Ian Robson)

Pictured (from left) are Daryl Ray Carliles, Lorelei Lemon, and Greg Guiliano (photo by Ian Robson)

We knew we were in for some silliness when the show opened with a presentation from a “preeminent Shakespearean expert” who confused Shakespeare’s history with Hitler’s, and ultimately informed the audience how Shakespeare had taken over Poland and died in a bunker with Hitler’s Eva Braun. When pressed about his credentials, the expert admitted that he was “pre-eminent.” Har har! As they zipped through Antony and Cleopatra (rubber snake, bad wigs and dramatic death) Macbeth (scary witch, bad wigs, and dramatic death), and Julius Caesar (plastic dagger, bad wigs and dramatic death), the audience was in stitches.

The slowest part of the show was right before intermission, when two of the actors fled the stage and could not be found. There was some funny business about finding them and convincing them to come back. However, after we returned from the break, they were still gone; and the bit seemed to have caused the players to lose some of the show’s momentum. However, once the “lost” players returned to the scene, the action picked right back up.

From the Department of Icky-Icky: When the troupe got to the presentation of Othello, they mentioned that Othello was Moorish and, therefore, black; and they decided to present the play all in rap, backwards ball caps and all. It made us a little uncomfortable. While the rap was a decent rendition, using rap to tell the story seemed to pander to racial stereotypes. That said, the actors did not write the dialog. And in the end, it was a clever synopsis of Othello; and the audience applauded the song.

The rest of the evening was good, clean, madcap family fun! It takes a deft hand and quick wit to distill such a large volume of work and to keep the audience entertained. There are sword fights, tumbles, and pratfalls galore. For those of you who would like to brush up on the works of The Bard, get ye to The Cary Theater Feb. 24-26!

Performing the "Othello Rap" are (from left) Greg Guiliano, Daryl Ray Carliles, and Lorelei Lemon

Performing the “Othello Rap” are (from left) Greg Guiliano, Daryl Ray Carliles, and Lorelei Lemon

SECOND OPINION: Feb. 6th Cary, NC Cary Citizen preview by Michael Papich: http://carycitizen.com/2017/02/06/cary-players-fit-400-years-of-shakespeare-in-90-minute-comedy/. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Feb. 19th Triangle Review review by Shannon Plummer-White, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2017/02/the-complete-works-of-shakespeare-abridged-revised-is-a-zany-high-energy-roller-coaster-ride/.)

SECOND OPINION: Feb. 6th Cary, NC Cary Citizen preview by Michael Papich: http://carycitizen.com/2017/02/06/cary-players-fit-400-years-of-shakespeare-in-90-minute-comedy/. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Feb. 19th Triangle Review review by Shannon Plummer-White, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2017/02/the-complete-works-of-shakespeare-abridged-revised-is-a-zany-high-energy-roller-coaster-ride/.)

The Cary Players present THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED] at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25 and 2 p.m. Feb. 26 The Cary Theater, 122 E. Chatham St., Cary, North Carolina 27511.

TICKETS: $20 ($18 students and seniors), except $17 per person for groups of 10 or more and $20 per person for tickets bought at the door.

BOX OFFICE: 919-462-2055 or http://caryplayers.org/shows/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-abridged-revised/ (top right-hand column).

INFORMATION: info@caryplayers.org.

SHOW: http://caryplayers.org/shows/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-abridged-revised/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/1198871156867410/.

VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgZFeg0daQk.

2016-17 SEASON: http://caryplayers.org/season/current-season/.

PRESENTER: http://www.caryplayers.org/, https://www.facebook.com/CaryPlayers, https://twitter.com/CaryPlayers, and https://www.youtube.com/user/CaryPlayers/videos.

VENUE: http://thecarytheater.com/, https://www.facebook.com/thecarytheater/, and https://twitter.com/TOC_Fun.

DIRECTIONS/PARKING: http://thecarytheater.com/plan-your-visit/.

OTHER LINKS:

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] (2011 comedy): http://www.reducedshakespeare.com/productions/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-abridged/ (official web page) and https://www.broadwayplaypub.com/the-plays/the-complete-works-of-william-shakespeare-abridged-revised/ (Broadway Play Publishing Inc.).

Reduced Shakespeare Company (Sonoma, CA-based comedy troupe, founded in 1981): http://www.reducedshakespeare.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/The-Reduced-Shakespeare-Company-24722435707/ (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/reduced (Twitter page), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reduced_Shakespeare_Company (Wikipedia).

Nancy Gardner Rich (Raleigh, NC director): https://www.facebook.com/nancy.g.rich.3 (Facebook page).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story, Reviews