Through November 12|
THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (abridged) [revised] [again] D’Youville Kavinoky Graduate Acting Company in partnership with Theatre of Youth”
The three performers on the Allendale Theatre stage may not have solved the great issues of “Hamlet,” but served up great theater.
D’Youville University is in the second year of a graduate MFA program in acting, working with its resident Kavinoky Theatre and those students show up in the KAV shows.
The Allendale Theatre and TOY are only a few blocks away.
So, three second year MFA candidates are on the Allendale stage, Kodi James, Shannell Dixon and Brendan Didio, in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] [again].”
That’s exactly what it’s about, although it concentrates on “Romeo and Juliet” and “Hamlet.”
This play from Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield has been around for a while and has been tinkered with over the years.
It’s an acrobatic tour through Shakespeare’s plays, in no particular order, some dismissed with a few words or restaurant jokes for the bloody cannibalism of “Titus Andronicus.”
It’s all a test of body language, quick changes and acting skill and there is a lot of all of this in “complete abridged.”
Shakespeare’s plays (generously) vary in quality, particularly over his long career and that is one of the themes of this show.
For every “Winter’s Tale,” there is (oh) “Titus Andronicus.”
This is a (small tent) circus, cavorting through the First Folio and around the Allendale, with the words of a man dead for four centuries.
However, his contemporaries saw something different in the wordsmith from Stratford-upon-Avon, with a heavy Warwickshire accent.
I say that as a believer in Shakespeare as Shakespeare.
He was a star in a world where “the play’s the thing” and people of every economic class and line of work were there to hear what Shakespeare and Jonson and Marlowe and other contemporaries and even occasional writing partners had put on stage.
The stories have come down to us, reminding us of the comic actor Will Kemp, who was one of Shakespeare’s acting company partners, as the cast cavorts on the Allendale stage and floor.
Now, if you want your Bard to be serious and never comic, this production isn’t for you, even if his comedies are sometimes as down and dirty as streaming TV.
Basically, just enjoy the thought and material in the show, as well as the performances.
There are strong performances from James and Didio, with weaker work from Dixon.
The Allendale hasn’t been getting a lot of use in these plague years, with TOY having a lot coming up.
Meanwhile, get there and see an entertaining “The complete works of William Shakespeare [abridged] [revised] [again].”.
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