By Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor Published Apr 23, 2012 at 12:02 PM

This is such a great deal, I had to reread the press release twice to believe my eyes.

Marquette University is celebrating William Shakespeare's birthday week on Wednesday by presenting American Players Theatre actor and writer James DeVita in his autobiographical one-man show "In Acting Shakespeare," and the performance is FREE.

The longtime Wisconsin stage artist will make his off-Broadway debut in New York next January doing the play about his journey from being an indifferent student and commercial fisherman to becoming one of the outstanding classical theater actors in the country. The show is funny and poignant.

"In Acting Shakespeare" debuted in the APT's indoor Touchstone Theatre in Spring Green in 2009, and DeVita performed it here in a Renaissance Theaterworks production a year ago. He will do it for the Pearl Theatre Company on 42nd Street in New York Jan. 10 to Feb. 3, 2013.

The Marquette presentation will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Weasler Auditorium, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave. Here is my review of the Renaissance Theaterworks production of the show.

By the way, historians think Shakespeare was born 448 years ago today.

Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor

Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.

During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.

Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.