Fringe Spotlight: The Porters of Hellsgate’s Breaking Bard

Breaking Bard

“For never was a tale more dark and quirky
Than this of Walter of Albuquerque.”
— Chorus, Breaking Bard

The 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival is gearing up for its annual summer theatre extravaganza and, this year, Shakespeare lovers will find a lot of productions to get excited about. Previews of the shows begin June 4 and the festival runs through June 28. You can check out the full show schedule at www.hollywoodfringe.org or review the list of Shakespeare shows to the right.

I’ll be spotlighting them over the next few weeks and today we take a look at what The Porters of Hellsgate will be presenting. Get ready for Breaking Bard by Gus Krieger — all 62 episodes of the hit television series Breaking Bad, presented in one hour, in Shakespearean verse. Yep, you heard that right.

So, what would happen if Breaking Bad had originally been written by The Bard? You’re about to find out in this one act play that offers up the most lamentable tragedy of Walter of Albuquerque complete with his treacherous plots, his pitiful murther, his tyrannical rise to power, and his most deserved death.

As for the genesis of the show, Krieger had this to say about his work: “As a lifelong Shakespeare devotee, Associate Artistic Director of a classical theatre company, and dyed-in-the-wool Breaking Bad fanatic, I would find myself staring at the ceiling many a sleepless night drawing connections between Bad and The Bard. Maybe it was just the universal nature of Shakespeare, or the sprawling themes of Vince Gilligan’s opus, but the dots continually connected: the fly scene in Titus and the episode “Fly.” The seven ages of man versus the seven stages of cooking meth. Mortality, family, ambition; it was all there. And the opportunity for an atypically academic spoof – call it Throne of Blood meets Airplane! – was just too good to pass up.”

Drina Durazo directs, with Gus Krieger starring as the villainous Lord Walter, Kate O’Toole as his Lady, Skyler, and Jesse James Thomas as his squire, Jesse. A very special chorus will be provided by Evan Lipkin. Sure to be a favorite of Breaking Bad fans and Shakespeare aficionados alike, it’s definitely one I can’t wait to see.

BREAKING BARD
June 6 – 28, 2015
Asylum Lab at Theatre Asylum,
1078 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tickets: $10 at http://hff15.org/2146

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