Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Billy Does Dallas
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Last night we attended a show at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre, which we found snuggled in the back corner of a small strip mall in Dallas. My good friend Lori suggested we catch dinner and a show there, and we enjoyed ourselves greatly.

They offer a basic fare and have a small stage that's almost in the round. On this particular evening they put on a unique version of Hamlet: dual simultaneous presentations -- one traditional, one modern -- on opposite sides of the stage. Because they had only a small cast, some characters played roles on both sides at the same time, interacting with each alternately. Players on both sides donned similar costumes to make the presentation parallel.

Now, the whole presentation often came out tongue-in-cheek and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern offered comic relief, but the idea really shows how one can make a modern interpretation from Shakespeare's plays. On the left the characters spoke Elizabethan English, and on the right, being Godfatherish in guise, they spoke modern English and touted handguns and cell phones instead of swords and parchment.

I hope they take this idea to larger venues, for the idea would work very well in modern classrooms. Indeed, that's how they introduce what they're about to present -- they say that Shakespeare would be better learned this way. No doubt about that.

The PST offers other shows and comedy too, not just the dual Shakespeare works, although they also did MacBeth this way, apparently. Anyway, if you're in Dallas, and have a chance to see one of these productions, don't miss it.

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