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Remaining Performances: Thursday, July 18, 6:15 p.m. Sunday, July 21, 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, 8:00 p.m. Friday, July 26, 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 27, 7:30 p.m.
They say: “Murder! Suicide! Pie! Oh my! Five actors present the guts, glory and stabby bits of Shakespeare’s 43 (and 1/2) greatest tragic deaths. Here the famous question ‘To be or not to be?’ only ends one way.”
Those who’ve studied Shakespeare will surely enjoy Nu Sass Production’s take on the range of tragedies presented in this thrilling and hilarious format. But for the rest of us, those fun, stabby, low-brow bits provide the same entertainment with twice the fake blood.
The cast’s collective knowledge of Shakespearean tomes is clearly vast, but more impressive is the comedy they brought to every scene. Some deaths were quick—-drowning Ophelia with a little splash of water—-while others were full re-enactments complete with sword fights, songs, and, naturally, sock puppets.
The delight the show brought to the Nu Sass crew was apparent, as they geeked out over theater jokes and random references. But for those of you (like myself) who have little knowledge of Shakespeare beyond high school English class, fear not: The chavvy British sock puppets, the “dubbed” samurai battle, or the live-action rickroll are more than enough to make the show great. The potential literary education and epic death scenes combined perfectly.
Lest you think the show is all about lowering the bard to the common denominator, it was dominated by Shakespeare’s verse, little didactic lessons and even the lyrics to the classic “Ain’t No Sunshine” rewritten for Othello the Moor. The clever comebacks and repeated references could be better appreciated by someone with a knowledge of Shakespeare, surely. But until then, there were buckets of blood and a Splash Zone warning that left the audience cowering behind their chairs.
The Nu Sass talent isn’t new to Fringe. They won Best Comedy in 2011 for Priscilla Dreams the Answer, and director Sun King Davis also directed 2012’s Best Comedy winner R.U.X.: Rockwell’s Universal seXbots. They have the potential to repeat those successes this year with those 43 fantastic death scenes, but that “half” is a secret you’ll have to see for yourselves.
See it if: The stabby bits are more your style. Or you love anything Shakespeare.
Skip it if: You fear red wedding flashbacks. And you’re just not prepared for that.