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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 16, 2024


If we were in danger of forgetting what makes Shakespeare great, then "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" should serve as a bizarrely poignant reminder. After all, at the bottom of it, the Bard is going after the human comedy whole hog. In that same spirit, "The Complete Works" goes after him — and us — chasing down the truly funny and the sublimely ridiculous.
Playwrights Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield manage to find a hearty belly laugh in every situation conceivable. Be it murder, suicide or basic potty humor (both W.S.’s and theirs), a moment does not go by in which the audience is not rolling in hysteria. Who could help themselves while witnessing all 17 Comedies condensed into a single play? Or the Histories as a football game?
The writing is tight and bouncy, the jokes quick and clear. No dead lines — each one finds its mark. And the audience is rewarded for staying with the cast members. Follow them through Freud and fourth down, and you will not be disappointed.
The cast members of "The Complete Works" deserve all praise that can be heaped upon them. Peter Schiron plays a great straight man to Scottie Brower’s sequentially manic Women of the Works, while Trudy Tucker slides from pseudo-serious artiste to cooking show "guest" with glib ease. This is a cast's show; the vaudevillian burden rests entirely upon the actors' shoulders, and they carry it admirably.
This is the best Pistarkle Theater has turned out in long memory, a show deserving of its extended run. They have raised the bar for themselves, and we can only hope the rest of the season soars as high. For those who make it over to Tillett Gardens, the time spent won't be "Love's Labour Lost."
Editor's note: Lane Sell is an Antilles School student.
"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)" continues Nov. 1, 2, 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. For reservations, call 775-7877.

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