New Jersey Stage

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cape May Stage Presents The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)

(Cape May, NJ) -- Cape May Stage, South Jersey’s premier professional Equity theatre, is excited to announce a production of classic theatre presented as you've never seen it before!  The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) presents all of the Bard's 37 plays and 154 sonnets in about two hours!  Directed by Harland Meltzer and starring Mark Irish, Jake Paque, and David Schmittou, Complete Works will open October 27th and run Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse on the corner of Bank and Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) was written and performed by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1987.  From there, it moved to the Criterion in London's West End, running for nine record-breaking years.  Complete Works is a madcap romp through everything ever written by the greatest writer of the English language.  Three actors perform each of Shakespeare's plays in the first act, in styles wildly divergent from their original: Titus Andronicus, for example, is performed as a cooking show and Othello is told through gangsta rap.  All of Shakespeare's histories are told as a football game using the British Crown as the football, and all of his comedies are reduced to one reading, the justification being that they all use the same plots, anyway.  At the end of the first act, the actors realize they've left out the greatest play of them all -- Hamlet -- and the second act is spent rectifying this.  In all, it's two hilarious and enlightening hours of theater that you're unlikely to experience anywhere else!

<b>About the Cast and Director</b>
Director Harland Meltzer has extensive Shakespearean experience, as the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of The Colonial Theatre and Shakespeare Festival, a founding member of the Shakespeare Theatre Association of America, where since 1985 he has directed or produced  over 200 Main Stage and Shakespeare in the Park productions.  He directs at theatres regionally and in New York, where he has also received awards for his work with new plays.  Meltzer has assembled a troupe of actors well versed in Shakespeare.  Jake Paque received his BFA in Acting from the University of Wisconsin, toured nationally in Mornings of April and May and now resides in NYC. He has several Shakespearean shows to his credit, including George, Duke of Clarence in Henry VI part 3 and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Actor Mark Irish devoted the last four summers to the Northeast Shakespeare Ensemble where he played Oberon in Midsummer, Edgar in King Lear, Don John in Much Ado, and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot among other roles.  He also spent four seasons at the Colonial Theatre in RI where roles included Demetrius in Midsummer and Sylvius in As You Like It.  Actor David Schmittou has portrayed Lysander in Midsummer as well as Fabian in Twelfth Night.  In addition, he has toured Europe playing Brad in The Rocky Horror Show and won the Kevin Kline Award playing Man in Chair in The Drowsy Chaperone at Stages St. Louis.

<b>Show Information</b>
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) opens Thursday, October 28, 2010, at 8:00 pm at the Robert Shackleton Playhouse at the corner of Bank & Lafayette Streets in downtown Cape May.   Performances thereafter are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Saturdays and Sundays at 3pm through November 20th.  Tickets are $35 adults, $30 seniors, and $12.50 students. Call (609) 884-1341 for reservations and information or visit the theatre’s website,

During the current run Cape May Stage is participating with four Cape May gourmet restaurants in a money-saving “Dinner & A Show” package promotion - a special night out. Restaurants involved in the promotion include The Blue Pig Tavern, The Ebbitt Room, The Mad Batter, and The Washington Inn. Call the individual restaurants for reservations and information.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is presented through the gracious support of Study Savings Bank and The Fudge Kitchen.  This season’s sponsors include 410 Bank Street/Frescos, Exit Zero, The Washington Inn, Cape May Winery, and Lucky Bones.