The Book of Will
through September 9, 2018
Brilliant young scriptwriter, Lauren Gunderson, did a load of research to craft this opus based upon some real characters and happenings back in early 1600’s. For it is a story told by those closely associated with The Bard, such as his friend Richard Burbage (Jeff McKerley), and the not so much of a friend, Ben Johnson (William S. Murphey).
The story is about the passing of William Shakespeare and the problems with getting his works into print. For in those days it was not easy, especially when a tome of his works could be huge and cost more than most folks would earn in a year. Tom Key plays Will’s friend, John Heminges, who is trying to get the Bard’s works collated and put into a complete set. One problem is that a publisher of questionable ethics has some of Will’s works in print, but things start to work out a bit when a working agreement is made with Isaac Jaggard, the son of the publisher. Isaac is played by Kyle Brumley. Heminges joins in with his pal, Henry Condell (Doyle Reynolds) to hook up with Isaac, gather in all the paperwork that can be found, and as one might say, Git ‘er done.
The exceptional cast includes Elisa Carlson in 3 roles, Suehyla El-Attar in 3, Paul Hester in 2, Eliana Marianes in 2, and Ryan Vo in 3 more. This large cast of come-and-go characters play out on a set by Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay, and is directed by David Crowe. It is quite a different type of work which pulls you into the story and makes you think about what the author must have gone through in her research. For we all read some of Shakespeare’s works; but rarely will you encounter somebody who has familiarity with all of them.
It makes one think about those olde days at The Globe, when the average Joe stood through the show in the audience and only the peers had seats. And, all the female roles were played by males. The show runs a bit over 2 hours, and there is discounted parking available at the garage just north of the theater. Buy the discount ticket at their concession stand.
A very good show with a fine cast. More info and tickets at TheatricalOutfit.org