by Lila Achuff

Hear ye! Hear ye! Cometh to the Barnstormers in Ridley Park, PA to enjoyeth Shakespeare as never before-eth. OK, enough of that-eth … I had to do one more. Readers, this is truly different. (I’m still snickering.) If you don’t mind the words and soliloquies of Shakespeare being butchered in this original “hillbilly” production, then go but don’t say I didn’t warn you. And make sure your sense of humor is on full volume. Actually, crazy as this might sound, it’s not a bad idea to go twice (ouch!) because some of the lines go by so quickly that you miss a lot while you’re still thinking, “Did I just really hear what I thought I heard?” In all this, throw in drinkin’ and a-cussin’ and a-fussin’ and spittin’ (oy!) and…no, do not bring the kids. Don’t even bring your parents! But you can bring your (almost) worst behavior. My guest found it all very, very funny. I really didn’t feel well so my sense of humor was still at home. (I have to blame my lack of laughter on something.)

David Palmer (Media/Springfield PA) Cheese MacBreath; Gina Valania (Glasgow DE) Wormseba; Cindy McHenry Starcher (Hockessin DE) Varmenta/Plumrose; and Nancy Kersey (Newark DE) Fishbate in Barnstormers Theater's production of SHAKESPEARE IN THE TRAILER PARK running through April 10 in Ridley Park, PA.

It’s cabaret seating and BYOB which I really didn’t believe when I first heard it. At intermission we were reminded to make sure we cleaned up after ourselves and take home our own “crap”! You heard it here, folks.

You’re familiar with “Macbeth”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Merchant of Venice” and “Hamlet”. Now bring your knowledge of these plays to Frog Level, Virginia where the trailer park of Capulet Hills is feuding with that of Montague Acres over which one will remain standing after a new Walmart will replace the property of the other. Meanwhile, their love for Nascar racing equals their hate for each other. Add to these beer guzzlin’ characters a southern drawl, beer bellies (ugh!), big-busted gals about to burst outta their costumes, very high heels and rag-tag clothing. No high culture experience here. Cans of beer are on ice in the washing machine. Where else? And there’s enough incest around to fill up a whole crossword puzzle…use your imagination!

One thing that might have been the foam on the beer for me might have been a hee-haw cloggin’ kind of dance. Why not? Get this! Two pink flamingos, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, played themselves. Ya gotta see it to believe it!

There was a Q ‘n A with the two writers of the play (V. Mark Covington and Sharon Cacciabaudo), along with the cast and director, Marsha Amato-Greenspan, which I found rather interesting. I liked hearing that even they find much impromptu acting occurring within the show that surprises them. The actors were pointing to the character of “Doughnut” (Timothy Sheridan) who excelled in this. I wasn’t surprised then that I considered him to be clever and gutsy in his “crazy” performance. When each company puts its own “twist” on things, then one can almost never quite know what to expect. Also, the writers remind us that in the Shakespearean era, plays were lengthy (up to four hours!) and were meant to be comical for the times.

Well, all my redneck friends, in this bawdy, naughty spoof of Shakespearean plays, “All’s well that ends well.”

Ya gotta love it!

Until the next show…

by V. Mark Covington and Sharon Cacciabaudo
Directed by Marsha Amato-Greenspan
April 1 – 10, 2011
Barnstormers Theater
402 Tome St
Ridley Park, PA 19078

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