Boquete on Avon?

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“What say you nurse? How fares my lady?”

Last evening we had the pleasure of watching a very professional, hysterically funny acting troupe, The Theater Guild of Panama, as they performed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, abridged. For those who’ve not seen this madcap show, here’s the short description: All thirty-seven of Mr. Shakespeare’s surviving plays were performed, the dramaturgy consisting of, on average, 8 or 10 minutes per play. In other words, capsule versions. The longest play, and the very first of the evening, was Romeo & Juliet, (featured above). The famous tragedy of the star-crossed young lovers of Verona dragged on for an almost interminable 12 minutes. Three delightfully goofy fellows, Adam Herzig, James Mattiace and Simon Tejeira riffed off each other, stretched every line taut as a wire, incited the audience to near Trumpian raucousness and milked every opportunity for double, and triple entendre. Ex. “You pooped in my soup. I had to throw half of it out!”

         Adam, James & Simon                                       W. Shakespeare esq.

I’m including photos, with appropriate captions. Worry not; Mr. Shakespeare would have found it all quite rollicking good fun, as did we, and he likely would have written play number 38 from the leftover material. Curtain up. Here we go. The play’s the thing, so let’s get on with it.

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“Get thee to a nunnery!” The troupe with Bernie Moscovitz of BCP, AKA Ophelia

 In the above shtick, ‘Hamlet’ confronts Ophelia, which leads to the audience participation segment of the show. Section A, B and C vied to channel Ophelia to see which of us could evoke the better, or perhaps just louder shriek. I believe the honors went to section B, my own, but I may be a bit biased. I’d elevated the volume in my hearing aids for the affair, which is, of course, an open air venue, so that may explain it. In any case, Ophelia was properly chagrined & sanctioned by the Melancholy Dane, and the show proceeded apace.

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The famous balcony scene. “Wherefore art though Romeo?”

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Claudius & Hamlet: Act 2, Scene 2″The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king.”

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No evening of shortened Shakespeare is complete without Othello, the Moor of Venice. (Performed as a culinary experience, of course.)

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“No, no, no, don’t say the name! It’s The Scottish Play!”

Every Shakespearean actor knows of the superstition surrounding ‘The Scottish Play.’ Never, never, never say its name, ever ever. Theater people tend to be a bit superstitious anyway, and they’re convinced it’s bad luck. I am under no such morbid constraint. The scene above is from ‘Macbeth.’ Wait…lightning? In Boquete? And not a cloud in the sky? What the f…? But hark, what light through yonder broken window comes?

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“I had the strangest dream!”

All in all a fine, humorous, stimulating and very satisfying farce on the complete works of the preeminent poet of the English language. The audience numbered perhaps 100, weather was delightful, the venue ideal and the mood was light. It was a fine time, and we enjoyed it immensely. Highly recommended.

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