Dogg’s Day Afternoon

Taking the obfuscatory powers of Shakespearean English to new levels, Tom Stoppard’s Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth is bound to entertain even more than it may confuse. The oddly-named play is actually two short plays, separated by a comma – and a common language. “Dogg’s Hamlet” features a fifteen-minute long Hamlet performed in the fictional language of Dogg by a trio of school children. As unbelievable as it sounds, the group then condenses play down to a raw two minutes as an encore. “Cahoot’s Macbeth” is also a condensed form of Shakespeare’s MacBeth, inspired by Czechoslovakian playwright Pavel Kohout’s “drawing room” adaptation of the play; during the Soviet oppression of his homeland, Kohout was forbidden from working in the theatre, so he re-worked the play to be performed in private living rooms. “Cahoot’s Macbeth” features a tense rendition of MacBeth, performed in secret but under the watchful eyes of a government observer. Stoppard’s facility for wordplay, puns and multi-layered jokes comes through despite, or perhaps because of, the degree of difficulty involved in both plays. St. Louis Shakespeare presents Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; 314-534-1111 or www.stlshakespeare.org) at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (August 10 through 19), with a 7:30 p.m. performance on Thursday, August 16. Tickets are $15-$22.
Fridays-Sundays; Thu., Aug. 16. Starts: Aug. 10. Continues through Aug. 19

 
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