Before his turn as arrogant businessman Robin Colcord on Cheers, Roger Rees had established a long and distinguished career as a stage actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He began as a scene painter, worked his way to supporting roles, and eventually won Tony and Olivier awards for his role in The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. His time with the RSC spurred him to create What You Will, a one-man show that explores his working relationship with Shakespeare — and how it isn't always an easy one. Rees muses on figuring out the best way to deliver Hamlet's famous "To Be or Not To Be" soliloquy, how to deal with students' complaints about the dreaded "Islamic pentameter" and what you talk about when dining with Laurence Olivier; he also defends Shakespeare from his critics (D.H. Lawrence among them) and performs some of his favorite scenes. Roger Rees performs What You Will at 8 p.m. at Washington University's Edison Theatre (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543 or edisontheatre.wustl.edu). Tickets are $20 to $32.
Fri., Nov. 20, 2009