by Louise Hilton
I had the opportunity to attend the final dress rehearsal for Swine Palace’s latest production, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged,” last night, and what a treat it was. Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield and directed by Swine Palace resident ensemble member Kristina Sutton Udy, this ambitious play attempts to cover all 37 of the Bard’s plays in just 97 minutes, and the three leads Benjamin Koucherik, Nic Hamel, and Anthony McMurray, give it their all.
It is a hilarious race to the finish, with lots of costume changes, a wickedly smart script, and loads of audience interaction. Ever imagined “Titus Andronicus” as a cooking show? “Othello” as a rap song? All of Shakespeare’s comedies condensed into one single play set on a desert island? Well, this production achieves all of that and so much more. Pop culture references abound, with the script poking fun at everything from the Twilight series to Titanic to political correctness itself.
The play opens tonight at 7:30 and runs through Sunday, July 22, in the Studio Theatre in the Music and Dramatic Arts Building at LSU. Tickets are $10, available at the door only. Get there early as the play is likely to sell out. Doors open at 7 p.m. There will also be 2:00 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday with the understudy cast. Don’t miss this over-the-top ode to Shakespeare that is sure to be a hit with teen and adult audiences!