With so many companies putting on summer stock, the audience is faced with a choice of which play to see. Should they see yet another production of "Midsummer's Night Dream," which is a popular pick, or a lesser-known play?
DeBaun has solved that particular dilemma by producing "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" - a funny compendium written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield, which is a fast-paced comedy that tackles all of Shakespeare's plays.
Viewers can watch the 90-minute production for free outside in Frank Sinatra Park for the next three weeks.
What's it all about?
The comedy is pure madness. It starts with two players (Christopher Betz and Josh Pearson, both DeBaun regulars) enjoying a BBQ of their own poolside in Frank Sinatra Park. After some discussion with the audience, the third actor appears (played by Tony Bordonaro) and the three male actors decide to perform a condescended version of Shakespeare - because really - who really knows all 37 of his plays?
During Act One, there is a 15-minute version of "Romeo and Juliet" that manages to hit all the major plot points. Othello is turned into a rap. The lesser-known violent play "Titus Andronicus" is re-imagined as a cooking show. Witness an Americanized version of the histories as they are played out during a football game.
According to director Aaron Bogad, he picked this play two years ago for Hoboken's Summer Theater and the city was very pleased.
"I think it's appealing," said Bogad. "I think as a show it has wide appeal. It appeals to people who don't know Shakespeare because it moves fast and has jokes. And it appeals to people who will like it because there are jokes you get if you are familiar with the plays."
What's my line again?
One of the plot devises of the comedy is to have the actors read from cue cards during part of the performance. Other widely known material is slipped in and passed off as stuff of the Bard.
This is shtick comedy at its best. Nothing is safe from mockery, even the audience.
There is no fourth wall in the production. The actors talk directly to the audience during the performance. In this version of the play, the audience will witness references to "Wicked"and even pop musician Shakira. You'll get to hear Shakespeare's most famous speeches turned into comedy gems.
"Macbeth" is still Shakespeare's shortest play, and also one of the funniest in the hands of these three talented actors, who all play off each other and exhibit weird Scottish accents.
By the end of Act One, the cast realizes that they forgot to include Shakespeare's most famous play - "Hamlet." Act Two is a version of "Hamlet" you won't soon forget. The actors double up on the roles, which adds to the confusion and the fun.
Who's who in the cast
Tony Bordonaro plays most of the female characters, including a disturbed Juliet and a neurotic Gertrude, with manic glee. His females are hyper-crackpot versions of the originals.
This is his first performance for The Center for the Performing Arts at Debaun. Bordonaro is a recent graduate of the Academy for Visual and Performing Arts and also works as a dancer in Six Degrees Dance Company. Christopher Betz plays the foil for much of Bordonaro's antics, but still gets laughs with great comedic timing and inflection.
This is his fifth production with DeBaun. He recently appeared in Anything Goes, The Fantasticks, and Pippin. This talented actor was nominated for a Innovative Theater Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor.
Josh Pearson is laugh out loud funny. His characters are all over the top, but brilliantly done. He pairs goofy expressions with physical comedy that is sure to please even the most serious viewer. (Don't miss his cooking bit in "Titus Andronicus.")
Director Aaron Bogad is Debaun's director in residence. A few of Bogad's many credits include: Schoolhouse Rock, The Rocky Horror Show, The Fantasticks, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, Pippin, and more. And ...
The Center for Performing Arts at Debaun Auditorium is a not for profit, regional production house located in Hoboken. Throughout the year the company produces theater, music and dance events. The shows are cast with professional and amateur performers.
The production is part of Hoboken's Summer Enchanted Evenings, which are a series a free programs and events taking place throughout the summer. The program was made possible by Mayor David Roberts, the City of Hoboken, and the generous sponsors.
The play can be seen at 7 p.m. at Frank Sinatra Park on: July 14-16 and July 21-23.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) will be performed for free on July 14-16 and July 21-23 at Frank Sinatra Park in Hoboken. Frank Sinatra Park is located at 410 Sinatra Drive. For more information, visit: www.debaun.org.