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Fort Fringe – The Bedroom, 610 L Street NW

Remaining Performances:

Tuesday, July 12th, 9:45 pm
Friday, July 15th, 8 pm
Saturday, July 16th, 6 pm

They say:They’ve been broken up for nearly 500 years [sic], but William Shakespeare is getting the band back together and releasing the most ambitious concept album since Hamlet, proving that high culture once was pop culture, and shall be again!

Lindsey’s Take: “Bohemian Rhapsody” cries out for Shakespeare’s stylings. The Beatles go head-to-head with The Bard. Aretha finally gets the respect she deserves. This one-man show by Adam Jonas Segaller reimagines classic rock tunes as sonnets, paying homage even in irreverence.

Pseudo-Elizabethan verse and 20th century song lyrics commingle as Segaller pulls manuscript pages from a wastepaper basket filled with the Bard’s “discarded sonnets.” R-E-S-P-E-C-T: “thou must learn to sock it to me,” “every wench crazy ’bout a sharped dressed man” and “shall I compare thee to a rolling stone” are but a few.

A simple set and a simple premise put the spotlight on the sonnets and their author. Segaller’s language is peppered with thees and thous, proper and punctuated. But he slides seamlessly into a Johnny Cash drawl or colloquial character as the piece warrants. Segaller is jocular and vivacious, smiling at the audience’s laughter.

After the show, Segaller explained to me that a lifelong love affair with Shakespeare prompted him to look for a way to introduce The Bard’s work to a new audience. Mission accomplished: My crowd delighted in guessing the song or recognizing the sonnet, laughing as they caught on to the joke. “Write us a poem, you’re a sonnet man,” indeed.

See it if: You are a Shakespeare fan with an irreverent sense of humor, or are quick-witted enough to keep up with the allusions to modern rock.

Skip it if: You were scarred by the Bard in middle school English, or absolutely abhor anachronisms.