The Complete Works of
William Shakespeare (abridged)
“The season opener for Marin Shakespeare Company’s 18th year is hilarious….‘Complete Works’ is irreverent without being disrespectful — after all, it’s the great works that inspire the play. And because of the nature of the play, it can be changed to fit time and locale, as director Robert Currier has done. With a fine cast of three portraying all the roles, Currier has added topical references — at one point Othello strides onto the stage doing a wonderful imitation of Captain Jack Sparrow of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ played by Johnny Depp imitating Keith Richards. Sight gags and wordplay abound, some perhaps not surviving opening night, when one pun, poorly received, prompted an actor to call out, ‘Previews, Bob, previews!’ ….this ‘Complete Works’ is a good time. Three veteran comedic actors command the stage: Ryan Schmidt, Darren Brigdett and Jarion Monroe. Schmidt, the youngest, plays a dashing Romeo and has tremendous energy. Monroe has a reserved air that enhances his comic moments, as if he is as surprised at his wit as anyone else.
Bridgett, a great comic talent, not only plays female roles with hyperbolic charm and ridiculous wigs, but also has terrific rapport with the audience, ever-so-comfortably joining it and sampling from picnic baskets. The audience, already laughing from the material, is receptive and responsive to a little improv, one night throwing broccoli onto the stage after the actors exhorted children to avoid the vegetable….The set is bare, with a backdrop of columns and curtains allowing for entrances and exits. The colorful costumes (by Rebecca Redmond) are as goofy as the play, and all three actors wear Converse sneakers….While obviously enjoying themselves on stage and interacting with the audience, the actors are challenged to keep ‘Complete Works’ relentlessly afloat, and they, and the director, are up to the task. This ‘Complete Works’ shakes the dust off traditional productions of Shakespeare’s works and makes for an evening of unabridged entertainment.”
– Olga Azar, Marin Scope
“Those wild and crazy guys are at it again playing three of the most fanatical characters you are bound to see on stage. Darren Bridgett, Jarion Monroe and Ryan Schmidt are currently hurling themselves and the audience through an infectiously hilarious, laugh-filled evening that touches on all of Shakespeare's plays. There are gags that veer between sophisticated and low humor. There is a lot of slapstick and ribald humor plus many sexual innuendos….uproarious.”
Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway