Adapted from Shakespeare by Allison Powell
At Chicago’s Underground Lounge
“To Be or Not to Be,” You Decide–The Filament Theatre Ensemble Gets Rowdy With The Bard
There are many ways to spend a Friday or Saturday evening with friends or loved-ones and among them comes a blend of outrageously funny riffs on Shakespeare, and a few drinks, at the deliciously seedy Underground Lounge in the heart of Wrigleyville.
Once you “leave your theatre etiquette at the door”, you’ll be free and encouraged to yell out suggestions that decide the fate of some of your favorite Shakespearean characters as Allison Powell has adapted over 20 plays of William Shakespeare into a blended evening of wildly entertaining audience participation comedy. This lively, expertly presented show will allow you to let your hair down after a long week of work. If you can’t decide what to do on a Friday or Saturday – see a play or go drinking? – why not do both! Did I say that it’ll not cost you an arm and a leg? That is what awaits the brave souls who wander in to see Filament Theatre Ensemble’s smart new show, Choose Thine Own Adventure.
Director Julie Ritchey has prepared her cast to play multiple scenes depending on what the audience “chooses” as her intelligent show utilizes the “Choose Your Own Adventure” format. The players – Marco Minichiello (Dromio), Ped Naseri (Antonio), Omen Sade (Bernardo) and Mary Spearen (Rosalind) start the show with a hilarious blend of familiar Shakespearean quotes, quips and short speeches while warming up the audience with their articulation and acting chops, with some ad libs and funny physical comedy with improv and commedia del’Arte influences.
The Filament Theatre Ensemble’s ambitious new play has found a way to appeal to Shakespeare nerds, beer drinking rowdies and lovers of hilarious live comedy. The show is, indeed, authentic Shakespeare that allows the audience to determine the endings and/or the direction of the show. The cast adapts instantly to the demands of the audience. The sheer effort and stage presence of the young cast is impressive. The laughs abound in this unique hour of raw and real comedy that includes wit, vaudeville, improv and physicality all in honor of William Shakespeare. A good time was had by all. The bravery and chops of this cast makes for a fun show with repeat viewing appeal. Snobs and conservatives need not apply–all others will have a blast.
At Underground Lounge, 952 W. Newport, Chicago, IL, tickets $15, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, running time is 65 minutes with no intermission.