From "Romeo and Juliet" to "Hamlet," Wheaton High School's "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" was a quality high school production overall.
The show wittingly quoted, misquoted and portrayed all of the original works of Shakespeare in an enjoyable two-hour experience.
The ensemble cast worked together to achieve the comical atmosphere conveyed by the text, reconsidering well-known scenes. In Romeo and Juliet, the cast held up Juliet, serving as her balcony. An unforgettable "Football Game" summarized Shakespeare's histories in five minutes.
Overall, the show was of good quality. The set and lighting were adequate for the production. However, there were some technical problems. Unfortunately, without the aid of microphones, it was difficult at times to hear the actors, a distraction that diminished the comedic effect.
Jennifer Burke kept the show rolling. She projected every humorous line clearly, bringing to life the diverse characters she portrayed, including Ophelia and Cleopatra. Joe Eade (Hamlet) created some remarkable moments, including his sock-puppet show for Gertrude and Claudius.
Many others in the cast gave noteworthy performances, including the actors who played Richard the III, Shylock and Julius Caesar.
One of the show's most inventive features was how much of the action took place in the audience. The cast integrated the audience by bringing unassuming spectators on stage, sitting on their laps and even "vomiting" on them.
Wheaton's production was entertaining, and the cast successfully expressed the comedy to the audience.
James Hubert Blake