BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
|A CurtainUp Los Angeles Review
By Jana J. Monji
In 1995, Toronto-based actor/writer Rick Miller had a small part in a touring production of Macbeth with Montreal's Repercussion Theatre. Being Murderer #2 left Miller a lot of time backstage where he honed a joke for the cast party: what Macbeth would be like if The Simpson were the cast. From that conceit of "one dysfunctional family does another," MacHomer was created.
Using a small screen behind him, with video and stills along with live action video filmed from a camera on a small smoldering podium in front of him, Miller quickly sets the scene. With dead-on voice characterizations an array of Simpson characters, including some guest stars, Miller takes us to the misty fields of Scotland via Springfield.
Captain McCallister, Moe Szyslak and Principal Seymour Skinner are the unlikely Weird Sisters. If you aren't Simpson-knowledgeable, just imagine a barnacle of a sea dog, a bar slug of a bum and an uptight principal who still lives with his mother as witches.
With Homer as the title character (and Bart only making a brief abortive appearance), the thane of Glamis vacillates between wanting the throne and wanting a donut. Banquo is Ned Flanders, the Bible-thumping goody-two shoes who never uses bad words. Duncan is none other than Charles Montgomery Burns and his "son," Malcolm is Waylon Smithers, the brown-nosing yes-man, of course. As the hero, MacDuff who eventually vanquishes MacHomer, Barney Gumble makes an unlikely, but hilariously laughable choice. Simpson fans--don't worry. Sideshow Bob, Itchy and Scratchy, Milhouse, Apu, Krusty the clown and Chief Clancy Wiggum and others pop up, sometimes in wildly inappropriate parts.
Along the way to the surprise ending, Sean Connery, O.J. Simpson and Kermit the Frog make appearances. This is definitely Shakespeare for the masses, a funny, witty transformation of a tragedy into a comedy of popular cultural proportions.
Miller has been touring his 90-minute show without intermission show to college campuses and various venues nationwide for six years. For information on future shows, go to www.machomer.com.
Mendes at the Donmar
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
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