Review: SHAKESPEARE IN HOLLYWOOD brings The Bard to Brookfield Theatre For The Arts

Performances run through April 27th.

By: Apr. 14, 2024
Review: SHAKESPEARE IN HOLLYWOOD brings The Bard to Brookfield Theatre For The Arts
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

What do you get when you cross a stage director, a burgeoning film industry, exotic plants, and time-traveling characters? Why, you get Shakespeare in Hollywood! This ingenious comedy, written by Ken Ludwig, drags Oberon, King of the Faeries, and Puck from Midsummer Night’s Dream into the 20th Century to breathe a little life into the stuffy, wealth-laden pockets of Hollywood. This play is a riotous time for Shakespeare nerds and People-Who’ve-Never-Read-Shakespeare alike. From the set to the staging to the cast themselves, Shakespeare in Hollywood is a delightful time to take in the best that comedy has to offer.

From the moment you enter the theater, you are transported back to the 1900’s: with glass Coke bottles, a vintage radio microphone, and even a corded telephone! This time period is reinforced throughout the show in the set and props, which were designed by Andrew Okell and Ron Malyszka, respectively, which only added to the nostalgic joy that the play exhibits. The second thing you’ll notice is the phenomenal costumes and wigs put together by Lou Okell and playbill-proclaimed “Wig Magician,” Joseph Russo, respectively. Between the coming together of all of these disciplines, the pins were set, and it was up to the cast to bowl a strike; under the direction of the Shakespeare Scholar herself, Jane Farnol, this cast was sure to be a hit.

To throw another sports metaphor into this theater review, the cast hits a grand slam. It can be hard for an ensemble actor to play a lead; it can be hard for a lead actor to play in the ensemble; But it is even harder still for a cast full of lead actors to perform in an ensemble play. However, there isn’t an ego around, as the cast has bought into Farnol’s vision from the get-go. Every character had a time to hide and a chance to shine, and from top to bottom, this cast took their chances and knew when to pull back. The commanding Oberon (Adam Battelstein) and free spirit Puck (Abi Heydenburg) reveled in the dissonance of being thrust centuries into the future without missing a beat; The film’s director, Max Reinhardt (Christopher Bird) sassed his way into the audience’s hearts with his quick quips and disdain of Will Hays’ (Rob Pawlikowski) and Jack Warner’s (Robert Roda) attempts to censor his art; and the contrast between Olivia’s (Jennifer Wallace) wallflower and Lydia’s (Rebecca Annalise) showgirl gives this cast a wide range of personalities and desires so that everyone in the audience can root for somebody, while also enjoying the chaotic cluster that is the climax of Puck’s carelessness. Special shout-out to the forever fearless Tim Breslin, you know what you did.

You won’t want to miss this production of Shakespeare in Hollywood, but time is running out! The show runs from April 5th – April 27th, with Fri/Sat shows at 8pm and Sun shows at 2pm. At the time of this posting, there are only 5 performances left, so don’t miss your chance! You can buy tickets at the door or online at the button below.


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor