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Skullduggery - Theatre Review


A review by Joan Alperin.


Photos by Jessica Sherman Photography

I have seen many productions at the Sacred Fools Theatre Company and have enjoyed everyone of them, except for this one. I absolutely LOVED their latest entitled SKULLDUGGERY. If there is such a thing as perfection, this is it. 

This is a must see show for some many reasons: fantastic cast, extremely funny, clever, excellent acting, directing, writing-book and music and did I say Fantastic cast. To pull off Shakespeare is hard enough, but to pull off a musical comedy prequel of the well known tragedy, ' Hamlet' and have it work, takes extreme talent and that is what everyone involved in this production has.



'Skullduggery'
is called a musical prequel to Hamlet aka Never Trust A ghost. It follows the twisted love triangle of Claudius (the wonderful John Bobek who got better and better as the show progressed), Gertrude (Leigh Wulff, who unfortunately, I have to say, was not that great in the vocal department, but made up for it with her acting) and Hamlet Sr. (the fabulous David Haverty) as it spins, song by song, the unlikely journey of these lovers from innocent youth to the climactic moment of Hamlet Sr.'s (don't worry it isn't a spoiler, unless you've never read the play) ' most foul' murder.

And I must not forget three of the most important characters known as the Gravediggers, who serve as a Greek chorus. They are played impeccably by Jeff Sumner, Cj Merriman and Matt Valle. Not only can this trio sing, but their comedic timing is as good as it gets.  

Director Scott Leggett nailed this show on every level. The choreography created by Natasha Norman is surprising and just wonderful, while the book lyrics and music by Michael Shaw Fisher makes you want to hit the rewind button and hear the songs over and over again. 

  One of the standout numbers, that is repeated throughout the show, is a duet performed by Claudius and Gertrude entitled 'Outside Elsinore'. 

Speaking of standouts, Berta (the very funny, and very talented, Rebecca Larsen) and Curt Bonnem, as her hubby Polonius are pitch perfect in their performances. There's also a sub plot involving Polonius who wants to keep his 23 year old daughter, Ophelia (the funny Alyssa Rupert) who refuses to admit that she's no longer a baby...

But if I was forced to pick the most outstanding performance given by an actor in this show, it would have to go to, Brendan Hunt as Yorick/the Ghost/and the Player. When people talk about the 'it' factor, this guy has that and so much more.

The Band is great and the costumes are beautiful. In fact I'd like to have a few of Gertrude and Ophelia's outfits in my closet. If this is the only play you see this year, make sure it's SKULLDUGGERY. 

The show  runs through November 5, 2016. Friday and Saturday @8pm
Sunday Matinees @3pm beginning October 16. ADMISSION: Tickets are $25.00. 

For tickets go to www.sacredfools.org or by calling 310-281-8337.



Posted By Joan Alperin on October 04, 2016 12:06 pm | Permalink