The only things missing were star struck clusters of freshmen girls, Greek togas with crowns of thorns and a big bowl of punch spiked with gin, vodka, brandy and any other kind of booze that somebody brought along to the party.
Other than that Milwaukee Chamber Theatre is staging a frat party complete with loud music, dancing, costumes galore, speeches, arguments, bys singing at the top of their lungs and mugging trying to wring laughs out of places where you don’t really expect laughs.
The occasion is a rollicking production of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (revised)."
This madcap sendup of the Bard is predicated, as we are told in the prologue, is "a feat unprecedented in the history of civilization." All of Shakespeare’s 37 plays in under 90 minutes.
This is, I think, the fourth production of this play in the last five years, but this one hits the stage with a twist. Four college chums and graduates from the highly respected theater program at UW-Whitewater, gather onstage together to act like, well, boys.
The four -- Marcus Truchinski, Chase Stoeger, Chris Klopatek and Rick Pendzich -- leave nothing to the imagination in this two hour event. All four of them have gone on to distinguished careers in theater.
This the kind of humor when they say "stand up and let me slap you in the face and then, let’s do it again, and again, and again. And we’re gonna keep on doing it until you laugh."
Laughing was never in doubt.
Thing sword fights with croquet mallets and those noodles you swim with, a garish cooking show to tell the bloody story of Titus Andronicus, both Romeo and Juliet drinking their fatal poison from a Green Bay Packers cup, a spotlight that won’t stay still during the famous "To be or not to be" speech.
These boys may well put up a sign that says "No Adults Needed." Watching these boys at play I couldn’t help but think of the Three Stooges and their version of slapstick to tell a story or many stories.