A rollicking night at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company! When the Shakespeare tackles these outrageously silly compilations, it really shows how deep the bench is at this wonderful theater.
And how far they will go to be great in vaudeville, as well as in classic theater.
This production even includes a pie in the face. Which Miranda McGee accepts with grace and a grin. Geoffrey Barnes and Justin McCombs are the other two zany patriots. I often grin in theater, seldom laugh out loud. This was the exception. So many of the lines were absolutely spot on, timely and outrageous – the laughter just burst out of the audience.
Each introduced themselves in the beginning – in characteristically riotous behaviors. No wars for a while, since we started with Native Americans. The Revolutionary War wasn’t so bad, but after that it got a little touchy when slavery was mentioned, and then we launched into the Civil War – some laughing and not laughing at the same time. The World Wars, the Vietnam War – also sexism and racism – were built right into the script. Miranda played mostly guys, Justin mostly women, while Geoff played the grown up the few times there was one on stage. Along with water spraying the audience, which got up to full speed in the second act, to water guns.
Cultural comment, not to say sarcasm and satire, with us laughing at ourselves and the country, instinctively recognizing the soft spots where we Americans are off base. Perfect summer entertainment – and perfect summer truth.