Shakespeare's Greatest Hits | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Shakespeare's Greatest Hits 

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You might fear that a show with the trendy title of Shakespeare's Greatest Hits would be thin. But even an postliterate (hell, semiliterate) era there are too many not yet converted. Shakespeare Repertory, a Jeff-winning theater (Cymbeline), has concocted an anthology to demonstrate the Bard's worth. Powered by a young and unpretentious cast, Barbara Gaine's pastiche of scenes from ten of the Bard's best is well paced and richly acted. It slides seamlessly from Romeo and Juliet's balcony scene to the low vaudeville of the lovers' mix-ups in A Midsummer Night's Dream to the knock-down courtship bout in The Taming of the Shrew. Hip (rock music pounds its way into scene changes) but never condescending (not one pointer hits a blackboard), Shakespeare's Greatest Hits reminds you what its author did better than anyone in English--plumb the full human experience as it was and ever will be. Royal George Theatre Center, 1641 N. Halsted; December 5 through 11; Wednesday, 10 AM; Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, 10AM and noon; $8; 281-1878.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Jennifer Girard.

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