One Man, Many New Looks at Shakespeare
Lot o' Shakespeare!
KC Fringe Festival
For the last two years, I've caught Alan Tilson at the Fringe, and i highly recommend seeing his show this year. This year, he's joined by another outstanding Shakespearean one-man-showman— Tim Mooney of Chicago — whom I also highly recommend.
In fact, how about a double-header: seeing both Mooney's and Tilson's shows? Then you can weigh in yourself on the KC Stage site as to whom (if either) you liked better by leaving your rating here.
The energetic and engaging Mooney introduces an element of chance to his show: his program is set by the Bingo balls he draws randomly from a spinning cage containing 38 of them — meaning he has this many scenes ready to go! One woman took away a Lot o'Shakespeare! T-shirt (also on sale) for her luck on the Bingo card we picked up with our tickets, and another took away a CD (also on sale) for her yeoman's work in volunteering to read a couple of second parts on stage.
Along the way, we all were treated to a 54-minute tour de force comprising no fewer than 19 Shakespeare scenes and sonnets. A couple of times, the entire audience chimed in for a line or two by another character, in addition to the audience volunteer who joined Mooney onstage.
Mooney's interpretations were outstanding, and not infrequently cast new light on obscure corners of Shakespeare's work. Why did my high-school English teacher never point out Mercutio's jealousy of Juliet, as Romeo's spurned gay lover? Or the flagrant queen's-ass-kissing in "Henry VIII"? Or the sexual-harassment element of Angelo in "Measure for Measure"? Sure would have spurred our adolescent interest in the not-so-boring bard of Avon!
Mooney's interpretations were introduced by short, but illuminating commentary. Spur yourself over to the Off Broadway theater for this: Friday at 6:30, Saturday at 8 or Sunday at 3:30.
read the review at KC Stage