Fringe Review: The Porters of Hellsgate – BREAKING BARD

Breaking Bard - The Porters

Gus Krieger and Jesse James Thomas. Photo credit: Zach Andrews

This theatrical parody of a TV favorite has Fringe hit written all over it. Get your tickets now because the theater only has about 40 seats and this show is quickly going to sell out. It should. Gus Krieger’s writing is smart, compact, wickedly funny, and exactly what you hope it will be when you picture a Walter White world with William Shakespeare dialogue.

The show is full of surprises but far be it from me to spoil them for you. I’ll only highlight one bit of brilliant writing; Krieger’s transformation of Shakespeare’s “Seven ages of man” into the “seven stages of cooking meth.” It’s worth the price of admission for that speech alone.

Characterized by fast-paced scenes that establish the chronology, hit the joke, land, and move on, and well-cast actors (seriously, every one of them nails his or her role/s), who find the comic hook for each character, it’s the kind of show that keeps you involved from beginning to end. As the aha moments stack up, so do the laughs.

Krieger has White down – the look, the stance, the serious consideration he gives to every problem at hand – even the singular way he reasons through to a solution. It’s a perfect fit for the actor/playwright and an inspired pairing if ever there was one. Jesse James Thomas trades street punk Jesse Pinkman’s trademark “bitch” moniker for “wench,” stretching it out a little longer each time as he comically flaunts the character’s vocal cadence.

Thomas Bigley makes an out-of-left-field cameo appearance late in the play that provides the perfect capper to the entire show. All that and a toilet on stage too. It’s a winner!

Ellen Dostal
Shakespeare in LA

June 6 – 28, 2015
Asylum Lab at Theatre Asylum,
1078 Lillian Way, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tickets: $10 at


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Porters of Hellsgate Remount Fringe Hit, Breaking Bard | Shakespeare in LA

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