Alec Volz, Brian Hinds & Chris Anger in Late Night Shakes.
Photo – Kentucky Shakespeare
Late Night Shakes
Directed and performed by The Louisville Improvisors
Review by Kate Barry
Entire contents are copyright © 2015 Kate Barry. All rights reserved.
Saturday night saw a packed house for The Taming of the Shrew at Kentucky Shakespeare Festival. After well-deserved applause from an audience of all shapes and sizes, the true fans stuck around a little while longer. What followed was Late Night Shakes, an irreverent spoof and a comedic treat.
The Louisville Improvisors is Chris Anger, Brian Hinds and Alec Volz, all veterans of improvisational theater and more ‘traditional’ productions of Shakespeare. For these guys, creating their own Shakespearean monologues and characters out of thin air was a piece of cake and they make it look so easy. After asking their audience for a name of an unwritten Shakespeare play, and to choose a genre, “The Tragedy of Green Broccoli” began.
Within the time constraints of 45 minutes, Anger, Hinds and Volz put on many hats to tell the story of Lord Broccoli, his daughter and his enemy, Lord Wormwood. The Louisville Improvisors poke fun at the Bard in so many ways – I lost count. This play covers all the typical things that one finds in a Shakespeare play, including stock characters, common plot devices, as well as pronunciation, diction and a song about broccoli. The show doesn’t stop with Shakespeare; the Improvisors break the fourth wall, so to speak, with jokes about the amphitheater’s multi-leveled set. Anger takes a minute out of character as he wanders aimlessly backstage and then appears on the upper level while Hinds struggles with the opening and closing of doors. With an audience comprised of frequent Kentucky Shakespeare patrons and actors, these bits were especially funny and respected by an audience that was ‘in the know.’
At the start of the show, Chris Anger warns the audience that Late Night Shakes contains strong language, adult themes and “huge opportunity for failure.” Judging from the amounts of laughter at “The Tragedy of Green Broccoli,” that opportunity for failure was… squandered.
Late Night Shakes
June 27, July 11 and 18 at 10:30pm
The Louisville Improvisors
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
In Central Park
[box_light]Kate Barry earned her Bachelors in English with a Theater minor from Bellarmine University in 2008. She has worked with many different companies around town including Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Bunbury Theater, Louisville Repertory Company, Walden Theater, Finnigan Productions and you have probably purchased tickets from her at that little performing arts center on Main Street as well. In 2012, her short play “PlayList” won festival favorite in the Finnigan Festival of Funky Fresh Fun. She has written for Leo Weekly and TheatreLouisville.com as well. Thanks for reading![/box_light]