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Shakes … beer? 

Wednesday, Aug 1 2007
If you thought improv was pretty much confined to smoky nightclubs populated with hack comics -- or that rare talent displayed at performance festivals -- then you're obviously unfamiliar with the Un-Scripted Theater Company. Yup, it's all improv, but not the regurgitated, off-the-cuff, see-how-smart-I-am stuff that makes most people wince at the mere thought. After all, these guys have their own theater company, and they do the regular six or seven plays a season, but with a catch: It's all extempore, baby. Shakespeare: Un-Scripted ups the ante on the Bard's verbal gymnastics and dramatic gravitas, but considering the genre, it's more of a loose homage than a strict adaptation. Borne along by a tide of audience suggestions, the players act out completely improvised plays each night while drawing on Shakespeare's leitmotifs of flesh, death, and star-crossed lovers. And no element is too small or too random -- spiders, trapeze artists, Q-tips … you tell ´em, and they'll somehow smash it all together into a full-length masterpiece, iambic pentameter and all. Even after several seasons of the show, Shakespeare's turbines are still whirring.
Aug. 2-Sept. 1, 8 p.m.

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Nirmala Nataraj


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