Celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday!

How are YOU celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday? If you haven’t made plans, check out how some of our local theatre companies are honoring Sir William and join in!

“…there was a star danced, and under that was I born.”  –Much Ado About Nothing

On the big day, April 23, be on the lookout for the Salty Shakespeare folks who will be doing a flash mob run-through all over the campus of Whittier College. Be especially observant in the lunchroom where, rumor has it, Polonius will be killed. The dress-run is in preparation for a full flash of what the company affectionately calls “Hamlet’s Greatest Hits” that will take place the next day. www.saltyshakespeare.com

Also on the 23rd, Long Beach Shakespeare Company will celebrate by presenting a night of Shakespeare sonnets, with everyone in attendance receiving a book of the complete sonnets as a free gift. www.lbshakespeare.org

The comedy series Complete Works will premiere all five of its episodes on Hulu on Shakespeare’s birthday, April 23. www.completeworks.tv  More


Review: Shakespeare UnScripted Turns Comedy into Art

Shakespeare UnScripted

L-R: Stephen Kearin, Edi Patterson, Michael Manuel, Brian Lohmann, Daniel Blinkoff & Lisa Fredrickson. Photo by Blake Gardner

No one is standing on ceremony in Impro Theatre’s latest comedic invention, Shakespeare UnScripted. On the contrary, the only formality you’ll find here is the kind you leave at the door when you step foot into the theater. Impro’s boisterous crew offers more belly laughs than anyone making up a Shakespearean situational comedy should legally have the right to, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Shakespeare smarty-pants or a total newbie to have a great time.

The framework is inspired by the play-within-a-play structure of The Taming of the Shrew, with the actors welcoming audience members into their Italian café; soon to be the stage upon which they will perform. By the way, the transformation of the newly-redesigned Carrie Hamilton from proscenium to black box is rather dramatic and if you remember its antiquated state, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the update.  More

Impro Theatre Brings SHAKESPEARE UNSCRIPTED to Pasadena

Shakespeare Unscripted

Impro Theatre has announced its newest production, Shakespeare UnScripted, directed by Brian Lohmann and Dan O’Connor, which will begin previews on Thursday, March 20 at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre (upstairs at The Pasadena Playhouse) in Pasadena. Opening is set for Sunday, March 30, at 5pm and performances will continue through May 4.

Shakespeare UnScripted is a completely improvised play in the style of William Shakespeare. The Impro Theatre ensemble starts with a single audience suggestion and builds improvised, full-length, never-before-seen plays inspired by Shakespeare’s poetry, colorful imagery and bawdy innuendo. Every show is totally unique and brings to life the monarchs, spirits, lovers and fools that make up Shakespeare’s world.

Artistic director Dan O’Connor says, “Brian Lohmann and I are very excited to roll up our sleeves, dive into the world of Shakespeare’s romantic Italian comedies, and bring this brand new production to the Carrie Hamilton Theatre.”

The cast is a rotating ensemble that includes Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrickson, Kelly Holden-Bashar, Brian Jones, Stephen Kearin, Brian Lohmann, Nick Massouh, Dan O’Connor, Edi Patterson, Paul Rogan, Michele Spears, and Floyd Van Buskirk. The set and costumes are by Sandra Burns; the lighting design is by Leigh Allen; stage manager and lighting improviser is Michael Becker; and sound improviser is Alex Caan.

Shakespeare unscriptedImpro Theatre’s unscripted explorations of great literary figures have included Shakespeare, Dickens, Stephen Sondheim, and Tennessee Williams. For more about the company, visit www.ImproTheatre.com. Tickets for Shakespeare UnScripted are $20 for previews and $30 for regular performances ($15 student tickets are available; student ID required at the door).

Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org, or by calling (626) 356-7529.

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