I never really understood the full connotations of the term “one man show”. Images of Al Jolson somehow spring to mind, from where I am not sure. I knew what the words meant but I never realised exactly what went into such an endeavour until I witnessed MacHomer at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Well, I will tell you what goes into it: A lot of Sweat. And undoubtedly a lot of time, dedication, creativity and courage. I mean, you are the entire show.
Rick Miller, a polyglot theatre artist and host of ABC’s Just for Laughs, has taken the best of Shakespeare and the best of pop culture to create an amalgam of fun!
With the use of a simple projector, some cut out puppets, a TV screen and a box converted into a cauldron, Rick Miller transforms Shakespearean Scotland into Simpsonian Springfield. By using a combination of Shakespeare verse with recognisable Simpsons quotes, the transition between the two worlds is seamless.
Macbeth is performed in its entirety with 85% of the original language used and all the original character represented by their Simpson’s counterparts..
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are of course Homer and Marge. Duncan, King of Scotland? None other than Mr. Burns. Banquo? Ned Flanders. Oh and MacDuff? The consistently inebriated Barney. It may sound silly but trust me, it works. The dysfunctional Simpson’s characters are not too far off from the equally dysfunctional Macbeth cast. Millers himself states “There is also something vaguely tragic about the residents of Springfield: flawed, vulnerable, but ultimately noble in their own pathetic way.”
Although I found his Homer voice to be of negligible quality, there were several others characters that he got spot on. His Marge impersonation was so believable that 1.) If you closed your eyes you may have well been watching the TV show 2.) If you looked at his face it was as if a recording of Marge was playing over it. That close. Mr. Burns, Otto and Barney were also impeccably performed. I found that when I didn’t look at his face, it all came together. I suppose it was slightly distracting to see Marge’s voice come from a human man. Regardless, It was easy to visualise the characters and the voices. Oh and by the way, he does over 50 of the Simpsons characters including lesser-known ones like Rabbi Hershel, Arnie Pie, Carl and Lenny, even Lionel Hutz.
I wasn’t expecting the show to be a complete laugh a thon. I mean, there were definitely humorous parts, but I was much more entranced by his ability to vocally recreate over 50 Simpson’s characters. It was astounding. However, there were other people in the audience who were bent over laughing the ENTIRE time. I mean in hysterics practically. So clearly this caters to a wide range of comedic interpretations.
Simpsons and Shakespeare fans alike can enjoy this light take on a heavy drama with a bit of pop culture help. ‘ Essentially, it’s a tribute to the creative vision of Matt Groening and to the genius of William Shakespeare” explains Miller. We can’t argue with that.
MacHomer has been touring the world for years now.
Tickets are nearly sold out for mere 7 DC performances.
I suggest you buy your tickets RIGHT NOW if you are interested.