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Little Theatre of Alexandria Is Proud to 'Prevent'...The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)…but not As We Know It!

Erin P. Doherty
By Erin P. Doherty
Posted on Mar 04,2016
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,

Photo by Matt Liptak
Hans Dettmar, Dave Wright, and Shawn g. Byers

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” was London’s longest-running comedy for more than nine years. Now Joanna Henry brings three actorsand this treasure to Alexandria, VA. Shawn g. Byers, Hans Dettmar, and Dave Wrightweave quickly and hilariously through 37 of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories and tragedies in approximately 97 minutes. Further, barbs at academia are pithy without turning off academic people with a sense of humor who do not take Shakespeare too seriously.The comedic timing is hilarious and their talent at improvisation is priceless.

Raymond Linkow, an audience member who has only been coming to LTA for a year, was pleasantly surprised by the production’s freshness. “I thought people would be falling asleep but whether you love or hate Shakespeare, you’ll love this show!”

The first half runs through 36 plays at approximately two minutes each. The second half is the funniest production of Hamlet ever. "I am Omelette, the Cheese Danish!" Most notably, the actors employ audience participation by “volunteering” unsuspecting theatregoers in unexpected ways. An audience member who declined to give her name warns, “If you go … don't sit in the front row!”

Grant Kevin Lane’s creative costume choices, including Converse sneakers and necktie pumpkin pants, allow rapid costume and character changes and action. Steve Lada is responsible for choreographing some stunning combat scenes as part of that action. "Othello" as a rap song: "Here's the story of a brother by the name of Othello. He liked white women, and he liked... green... Jell-O. Hey, yeah! And a punk named Iago, made himself a menace because He didn't like Othello, the moor of Venice!"

Jeffrey Scott Auerbach’s lighting changes are key to the production’s success. Plus, the brown set, which suggests a sand castle or perhaps a dusty library where one might find Shakespeare’s works, is the perfect setting for the multicolored lighting used.

The emphasis is on the Bard’s best-known plays, including Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet. One can view this performance as a whole, or just focus on the parts of greatest personal interest. No matter how many times one watchesthis show as a whole, one can find a new joke or insight that one missed earlier.

Don’t miss “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)”: It concludes on March 19 at the Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe St. Tickets are available either by calling 703-683-0496 or visiting the Web site at

Photo by Matt Liptak
Hans Dettmar
Photo by Matt Liptak
Hans Dettmar, Shawn g. Byers, and Dave Wright
Photo by Matt Liptak
Dave Wright and Shawn g.Byers
Photo by Matt Liptak
Shawn g. Byers
Photo by Matt Liptak
Dave Wright, Hans Dettmar, and Shawn g. Byers
Photo by Matt Liptak
Dave Wright
Photo by Matt Liptak
Hans Dettmar, Shawn g. Byers, and Dave Wright

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