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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Theatre review: Shakespearean Rhapsody proves that the Bard can be fun

Carousel Theatre specializes in young people’s plays,
They capture young minds often in playful magical ways.
This Rhapsody is complied from Lois Burnett’s books,
Which is Cole Notes by Hallmark with rhyming hooks.

Mike Stack has adapted three of her Shakespearean tomes.
And director Carol Higgins adds great zest to these poems!
Four dynamic actors present them with energy to burn,
That engages the youth and therefore helps them to learn,
About Tempest, R & J and a Midsummer Night’s Dream.
They shorten and then play act each important scene.

Multi-leveled and colourful, the set is by Elliot Squire.
The costumes by Stephanie Kong (with dolls), inspire…(d).
But it’s the actors who truly help this show to connect,
Each is so personable and as talented as heck.

Dustin Freeland is a goofy man and he loves to mug.
Anais West is ferocious one moment, the next? Someone to hug.
Kavon Kelly is deadpan witty and plays a mean lute.
Leslie Des Remedios? Hilarious and playfully cute.

True, sometimes the frantic pace, starts to fatigue
But then there’s a truthful movement that heightens intrigue.

The company says this is for “age 3 and more”,
violence and death is handled frankly and isn’t ignored,
Which adds to the value and earns applause when it is done.
So this vibrant Rhapsody proves definitely that Shakespeare is fun!

Shakespearean Rhapsody adapted by Mike Stack from the works of William Shakespeare and the “Shakespeare Can Be Fun” series (Firefly Books) by Lois Burdett. Directed by Carole Higgins. A Carousel Theatre for Young People production. On stage at the Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island) through March 29. Visit for tickets and information.

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