Shakesploitation! | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Shakesploitation! 

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High school English teachers take note: Given the Cotton Mather administration running Washington and the spirit of Salem abroad in the land, taking your students to see this collection of three Shakespeare parodies might get you fired. The language is vulgar, the situations involve drugs, sex, and martial arts--sort of like cable. But it may be worth the risk. No kid's going to come out of this hilarious show with anything less than a vastly enhanced appreciation for the Bard's badass potential. No grown-up either. There's Ninja Hamlet: Burning Fist of Denmark, featuring a sort of Shaolin samurai Dane, considerably more dense than melancholy. And Romeo & Juliet 2: Dead by Dawn, which posits the dead lovers as star-crossed zombies. The masterpiece, though, is Grand Theft Othello, with the Moor channeling John Shaft circa 1971. Directed by Andy Grigg, the New Millennium cast is good with fits of stupendous. Through 4/2: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 2 PM. Boxer Rebellion Theater, 1257 W. Loyola, 773-989-4515. $10-$15.

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