Friday, July 22, 2005

REV: Jeff Scott's Summer

Our boy prodigy sent me this clipping some time ago and i completely forgot to post it. Sorry Jeff . . .

Tech's 'The Complete Works' laugh-packed, comic production

Upon learning that Texas Tech's Summer Rep season would include a staging of "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" at the campus' Maedgen Lab Theatre, one's first inclination was to applaud director Jeffrey Scott for his courage. The second was to question whether, perhaps, he had bitten off more than he and his cast could theatrically chew.

It is a very funny comedy, but one demanding an extremely quick-witted cast consistently working on the same page and sharing the same high energy levels.

The fast-paced hilarity purposely touches on three dozen of the Bard's plays, devoting much more time to some over others. Yet plots are explained in a simpler, more easily and faster understood style. In short, it's a challenge.

Tech's is a masterful, laugh-packed, comic production, one if the funniest and most fun 90 minutes I've spent at the theater in some time.

Just watching Scott plan and block scenes with his cast probably could have earned smiles, but the end result is hilarity of the sort where audience members hardly have time to take a breath between laughs.

The dozens of Shakespeare references are delivered by a cast of only three: Barry Stagg, Cathryn Thompson and Gabriel Vasquez. Each is brilliantly attuned to the task at hand.

Thompson's mini-biography indicates that she's also a member of the Tech improv group Alternative Fuels. Her improvisational ability is apparent and, indeed, if Stagg and Vasquez are not also members of improv groups, they should be.


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