MacHomer: The Simpsons Do Macbeth | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

MacHomer: The Simpsons Do Macbeth 

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Canadian performer Rick Miller leads a double life. Half the time he's a serious actor, declaiming the Bard's poetry in parks and theaters across Canada and the United States with the Montreal-based Repercussion Theatre. The other half this phenomenal impressionist plays the fool, doing comic impersonations of actors and pop stars in stand-up clubs and presenting his own comic one-man shows at fringe festivals. MacHomer: The Simpsons Do Macbeth combines Miller's two loves, Shakespeare and silliness: his somewhat shortened adaptation transforms the dark, murder-filled Scottish tragedy into an episode of The Simpsons. Homer is the ambition-driven Macbeth, Marge his unscrupulous wife, Ned Flanders is Banquo, Mr. Burns is Duncan, and so on. What makes this parody truly delightful, however, is watching the rubber-faced Miller play all the parts, one minute grumbling like Marge, the next leering like Krusty the Clown, the next doing a killing Troy McClure. His performance is accompanied by an elaborate slide show that presents The Simpsons characters in period costumes making their way through Shakespeare's story: MacHomer killing Duncan, Marge Simpson going mad in MacHomer castle. Miller is such a gifted mimic, however, and he performs with such energy, relish, and precision that the illustrations are redundant, needlessly complicating a show that would work just as well stripped to its essentials: Miller, a microphone, and the ten thousand characters that swim through his head. MacHomer is being presented, along with two other productions by the Repercussion Theatre, as part of the "Shakespeare in the Park" festival (see Theater listing for full information). Benedictine University, Benedictine Theater, 5700 College Rd., Lisle, 630-829-6161 or 888-223-6000. Saturday, August 21, 2 PM and 4 PM (at press time, the 2 PM show was sold out). $10. --Jack Helbig


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