The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)
By Jeffrey R Smith
San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle
This summer, Shakespeare at Stinson has comedy: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED). Let there be no ambiguity: if you enjoy laughter, you will love this show.
Nowadays, matchbook covers advertise advanced degrees in meat cutting, or theology, or brain surgery. Imagine learning to carve up a charging Brahma bull with just a filleting knife; or learning to preach Scientology to the heathens of Mulholland Drive; or fully comprehending the intricacies of elective psychosurgery? Any one of these skills can be yours in just a few hours of independent study.
But, unless you are a chain smoker, you might never find a matchbook that offers a Doctoral in Shakespeare. Imagine then, learning the equivalent of a Ph.D., or an Associates, or a Boy Scout Merit Badge in Shakespeare just by attending ONE evening performance of Shakespeare. Assuming you can drop the remote, break suction on the Bud Lite and stop shoveling the microwave popcorn long enough to get to Stinson Beach, you can actually become an expert on Shakespeare in exactly 97 minutes! Artistic Director Jeffrey Trotter will personally sign your embossed Certificate of Completion as you leave the theater compound!
While rambling Professors at stodgy Ivy League colleges might spend hours on Shakespeare's history plays alone, the COMPLETE WORKS bundles all the histories into one vignette in which the English crown is passed like a football across the entire gridiron of condensed English history.
Then too, all the comedies are rolled up like a giant burrito and trotted before you in less than three minutes. Imagine crunching through 13 rollicking Shakespearean comedies in less time than it takes for the final curtain call at the O'Farrell Theater. Remember when your high school English teacher called you a Philistine? Assuming she is still lucid, wouldn't she be proud to spot you in the Stinson audience?
OTHELLO, in which nodding audiences normally wait hours to see the perfidious Desdemona get her trachea rightly reefed, is reduced down to single rap song. For your culinary edification, Titus Andronicus is simplified into a cooking show.
Why spend hours AWOL from your 72-inch plasma screen TV and mini-bar, feebly trying to wade through over 1200 soporific pages of Shakespeare when you can be spoon-fed all the essentials in less time than it takes you to polish-off a good bottle of unblended highland Scotch.
Let's face it, we live in the era of the sound bite: the future of Social Security can be boiled down to two words, "forget retirement." The exit strategy for Iraq can be distilled to one word, "none." Why shouldn't the same diminutive process be applied to the great works of William Shakespeare, Danielle Steele or Sidney Shelton?
Imagine, all 37 plays, including the apocrypha, for the price of one ticket! Have you ever envied educated people who could deftly splice a Shakespeare quote into their conversation? Things like: "It ain't over until it's over" or "The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handle." In one night, you too can be speaking Elizabethan English like a diplomat. Why wait any longer to become the Renaissance man, woman or child that your DNA only dreams of? Call the Stinson box office at 415 868-1115; the operators are standing by. The play runs through August 14th.
Coastal Post Home Page