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Breaking Bard

comedy · the porters of hellsgate · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by GRAYDON SCHLICHTER

June 13, 2015 certified reviewer

My overall impression

To start with I’m going to assume you have an idea of what this show is and go from there. At the bottom* I will fill in those of you who may not know.

Yes. See this. The adaption is exquisitely executed. The performances manage to be faithful both to Shakespeare and to the characters of Breaking Bad. No, not everyone nor everything from the later is there, this show is only an hour. But there are no wasted moments, no gratuitously expended time, no unnecessarily pregnant pauses or beats. This show commits to its premise with a sincerity that was absolutely necessary, but none the less very much appreciated. The few times there are winks to the audience it is as if with the blessing of the Bard himself. During the curtain call you will be stunned by how few the cast number for all the characters, distinctly portrayed, they brought to bear in their hour upon the stage. You probably need to like (or at least not hate) one of Breaking Bad and Shakespeare in order to enjoy this show. But I’ll be honest, even if you claimed to hate both, I’d still tell you to chance it, that’s how good it is.

The Bard is another name for William Shakespeare whose writing and style of performance this show emulates quite well. Breaking Bad is an award winning TV series starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul (among others) from which the characters and plot are drawn. While being a fan of the show is certainly helpful, the performances in this piece are so strong that I doubt it would be difficult to follow the story even if all you knew was *SPOILER WARNING “Chemistry teacher gets cancer, cooks meth to pay his bills, hilarity ensues”.

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