When we originally conceived of the idea to attend three small-venue shows this year, we were only thinking about the number of intimate concert venues in Pittsburgh. But one thing that’s fabulous about this city is that we also have a number of intimate live theater venues – City Theater, the O’Reilly, and the New Hazlett Theater just to name a few.
But one of our absolute favorite small-venue theater spots in Pittsburgh is Bricolage theater downtown on Liberty Avenue. And one of our favorite things that they do is the Midnight Radio Series. (That link is to our 2010 review of their outstanding performance of War of the Worlds, which they will be doing again this October – get your tickets NOW before they sell out!)
So, when we were asked to attend the Midnight Radio performance of Shakesburgh – oh yes, a magical theater production where the Bard’s plays and Pittsburghese collide – we just couldn’t say no!*
Since crowd interaction is the cornerstone of Bricolage performances (if you missed their mind-blowing show STRATA last summer, cross your fingers that it comes up again – that was crowd interaction at a groundbreaking level), there are plenty of things to do in the lobby while waiting for the show to start. At Shakesburgh, you can write Yinzery magnetic
fridge felt poetry.
This is the standard stage setup for the Midnight Radio shows – it’s like sitting in the studio audience of a live radio broadcast, which, in case you didn’t know, is freaking cool. You can do this two ways: one, close your eyes and imagine you’re listening in live on the radio, or two, be real nebby about everything and get to see how all the cool sounds are made. (Full disclosure: Spam may or may not be involved in stabbings.)
I’m not going to give out another spoiler and tell you that you’ll feel so proud of yourself for writing ‘your mom’s house’ under ‘location’ on the MadLibs board but… well. It was kind of my shining moment of life.
(Don’t worry – there are even more hilarious moments that I won’t spoil for you, because you need to get there and experience this masterpiece for yourself.)
The final skit of the night is the ‘you’re legit going to LOL but hopefully only ROFLMAO if you’re in the front row and won’t land on anyone’ funny: Romeo and Juliet of Fair Verona, PA. We were losing it, start to finish. And when they brought out the friar who sounds like a dearly-missed Pittsburgh celebrity… And THEN they talked about CROSSING THE RIVERS FOR LOVE! Oh! AND! FEUDING FAMILIES CALLING EACH OTHER OUT ON BEIN THE JAGOFFS YINZ KNOW YOU ARE.
There are two performances of Shakesburgh remaining, tonight (October 4) and tomorrow (October 5) at 9pm. We highly recommend you pop in to check it out (you can get tickets at the Bricolage website.)
I mean: don’t be a jag like that Browns fan who lives dahn the street from ya. Get yinz to Bricolage, and enjoy some laughs with your fellow Yinzers!
*Disclosure statement: we were graciously gifted tickets to the September 26th performance of Shakesburgh in exchange for an honest live-Tweet session throughout the play. That we fell madly in love and decided to blog about it too were our own decisions.