SOAP LAKE — The Bard himself is the subject of fast-paced sketch comedy in the Masquers production of “I Hate Shakespeare,” opening April 12 at the theater, 322 East Main St. in Soap Lake.
“I Hate Shakespeare” runs for three weekends, through April 28. Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Hamlet (Adam Zaleski in the Masquers production) is all set for his big moment, contemplating to-being or not-to-being – when it all goes south. Poor Hamlet must try and keep things moving as the play careens through the Shakespeare classics, from “Othello” in the spotlight of a relationship talk show to “Richard III” pursued by zombies.
“Cheerleaders and zombies, and there’s a horse chase scene and ninjas,” said director Patrick Rosman. “There is a lot of slapstick and silliness going on – we’re having so much fun here. We’re allowed to ham it up. And there’s a lot of ham.”
The sketches feature the “Scottish Play” about a guy named Mac – and bad things happen when his name is mentioned – and recount Hamlet’s attempt to avenge his dad. (As the ghost of Dad keeps reminding him, he had one job. One job.) Juliet’s famous soliloquy is translated into Modern Teen, and there’s a lecture on available information about the Bard – although the whole “20-foot-tall creature who could shoot laser beams from his eyes” idea seems a little far-fetched.
There’s even a demonstration of how canned Shakespeare can help the inarticulate.
“When I read the script I laughed out loud. In public.” It’s the “extremely silly side” of Shakespeare and of the Masquers cast, Rosman said. It’s one of the biggest casts for a Masquers non-musical production, and the play has attracted new actors and “tons of veterans. It’s a great cast. Every night I just laugh at what they did.”
This is Rosman’s first time directing a Masquers play, although he’s a veteran of the Masquers stage, appearing most recently in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” It was tough to do much theater while he was working nights, Rosman said, but once he got off nights “I said I wanted to do a play.”
Tickets are $10 to $14 and can be purchased through the Masquers website, www.masquers.com.