May the Bard be with you: Shakespeare made mod

Reviewed by David L. Schriber

The thought of combining 37 Shakespearean plays into a single two-hour farce was too good to pass up, so we took a drive up Route 12 to the Chenango River Theatre (CRT) in Greene to take in “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).” Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield; premiered in 1987 and performed subsequently in London and off-Broadway, the spoof encourages improvisation, adaptation to local culture and interaction with the audience.

This version, while not exactly belly-laughing slapstick comedy to the frenetic level of Mel Brooks or Robin Williams, definitely had a certain offbeat “Monty Python-meets-Reader’s Digest Condensed Books” character to it. Detailed knowledge of Shakespeare’s plays was not really necessary to appreciate the humor of themes such as “The Real Housewives of Verona,” a compilation of Will’s 12 comedies.

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