THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) Review

Links to all reviews can be found using the REVIEWS link at the top of the page. Blog postings, links and more are available on my Facebook fan page. You can also receive updates on Twitter from @BTCincyRob.

Nicholas Rose and Jeremy Dubin. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

Nicholas Rose and Jeremy Dubin. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Aug. 16. Read the show description.

What happens when you take a 90-ish minute comedic send-up of all of Shakespeare’s works, add CSC veterans Jeremy Dubin, Justin McCombs and Nicholas Rose, and put it all under the direction Sara Clark? It’s not a question of the show being good or funny, but moreso a question of HOW good and HOW funny. The answer to both is “pretty damn.”

The jokes are fast and furious with a loving nod to the Scooby-Doo and Road Runner cartoons. There are more pop culture and movie references than you can shake a lightsaber at, many of which generated quick, knowing glances between my guest and I as they successfully landed. The performance has a great mix of smart verbal, visual and physical bits that add to the experience without bogging down the show. The three actors easily manage (or at least make it look easy) the demands of the show and balancing their interactions with the audience.

Nicholas Rose, Justin McCombs, and Jeremy Dubin. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

Nicholas Rose, Justin McCombs, and Jeremy Dubin. Photo by Rich Sofranko.

Excellent support from the production crew and their staff, led by stage manager Alice Flanders and costume designer Abbi Howson, keep this crazy train on track. Solid work from sound designer Doug Borntrager, scenic designer Andrew J. Hungerford and props headed by Travis McElroy & Tenley Pitonzo enhance the fun.

I did feel that there were a couple of places where the pacing slowed a bit. Coming back from intermission, it took a little too long getting the whole gang back together on stage. Things slowed down again during the audience participation segment. Perhaps reversing the order to bring the entire audience in for the fun first would help.

CSC_Complete Works2

Justin McCombs, Jeremy Dubin & Nicholas Rose.

The HAMLET hat-trick at the end of the show is a riot and something I’ll remember fondly for a long time.

As I was leaving the theater opening night, I passed a colleague in the lobby who said, “It must be a good show if you are leaving with a smile on your face.” I certainly can’t argue with that.  “!OOB”

More information |

My rating: 4.25 out of 5

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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