Shakespeare’s body of work is so immortalized that it has conjured a life of its own. So impressive it is that is a living, organic thing, as continual interpretations continue to inspire and entertain. The production of the before-mentioned title suggests that a theatre group can compress the Bard’s entire catalog into two hours seems unlikely. But it can be done. Successfully.
Adopted by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, the writers have savored the best of the best by structuring the comedic and tragic components into a cohesive whole. Performed by Kelly Campbell, Michael Heiman and Christopher D. Turner, each actor displayed gusto and bravado into physical comedy. The performances were honest and direct. There was a certain sincerity that each actor conveyed.
Director A.K. Stewart did the smart thing and let the actors utilize their strengths with the physicality that the script demanded and at the same time, holding in the reins so the show did not turn into a farce. A nice element was incorporating the audience into the act, which made the show all the more fun. The show appeals to all be it a serious student of Shakespeare, or the casual fan, one may see the humor of Titus A into a cooking show as an apt comedic turn or Hamlet with audience participation to help Ophelia’s decent into madness as enjoyable evening for all.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) Through June 13 Open Stage West 2nd Floor 14366 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, 818-442-1793 firstname.lastname@example.org.