KILL SHAKESPEARE: LIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL (Revolution Shakespeare and Hear Again Radio Project): Fringe Review 42

Revolution Shakespeare (dedicated to new approaches to the playwright) and Hear Again Radio Project (specializing in the recreation of vintage radio programs) have teamed up for an entertaining presentation of the popular graphic novel series KILL SHAKESPEARE. The surprisingly intelligent script (this isn’t your average kids’ comic book!) is peppered with quotations and characters conflated from the classical canon of the Bard’s work, in the new context of an original story pitting his dastardly villains against his beloved heroes.

(Photo credit: Courtesy of KILL SHAKESPEARE)
(Photo credit: Courtesy of KILL SHAKESPEARE)

A script-in-hand ensemble of golden-throated actors in an old-fashioned radio studio and 1940s-style attire (suspenders and vests, pearls and seamed stockings) pays homage to the medium’s golden age with a mood-enhancing score (played live on keyboard by music director Linda Henderson,) and live Foley sound effects (the terrific Krishna Dunston, dressed like WWII’s Rosie the Riveter, and assisted by Francesca Piccioni and Darin J Dunston, who co-directs the show with Jared Michael Delaney). Griffin Stanton-Ameisen is the hero Hamlet, the Shadow King entrusted with the mission to save the wizard-of-the-quill Shakespeare (Frederick Andersen) from the deadly plot of his evil characters, led by Lady MacBeth (Megan Slater), Iago (Delaney), and Richard III (Neill Hartley). Representing the forces of good are Othello (the commanding Brandon Pierce), Falstaff (Darin Dunston), Romeo (Sean Bradley), and Juliet (Sarah Fraunfelder). Colorful projected illustrations from the novel accompany the performance, and a chorus comprised of the full cast provides convincing background sounds of battle scenes, witches’ incantations, and tavern merriment. It’s all a whole lot of fun! [Off-Broad Street Theater, 1636 Sansom St.] September 12-13, 2014;

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