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Standup Shakespeare

words by William Shakespeare, music by Ray Leslee, book by Kenneth Welsh
Musical, Comedy/Drama
3 men, 1 woman, 1-4 musicians (flexible casting)
Total Cast: 5, Bare To Flexible Setting
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-1526-4
FEE: Quoted upon application. Cast Recording: $20.00. INSTRUMENTATION: Piano/Conductor, Woodwinds, Violin, Bass.
THE STORY: STANDUP SHAKESPEARE sets the timeless language of the Bard to the exciting rhythms of jazz, baroque, samba and gospel-rock original music. A fractured love story is performed by a modern-day Fool and two glorious singers.
“Ray Leslee has set the most famous of lyrics to a melodic, jazz-tinged score. In Mr. Leslee’s talented hands, Shakespeare has soul.” —NY Times. “The result is an ingenious patchwork of song and story that mostly plays fast and loose with Shakespeare’s verse, and then suddenly delivers him straight up—both to great emotional effect.” —Washington Post. “Classy, charming and funny…The twist is this: Every word of the sparkling repartee comes from some Shakespeare play or other. It’s stitched together seamlessly by Kenneth Welsh, with lush tunes by Ray Leslee.” —Washington Times. “The set-up is simple: A Burlesque style comedian known simply as The Fool trades witticisms with a pair of cabaret singers. In between, the three take turns singing Mr. Leslee’s melodies, which range from broadly comic shtick to soaring lyricism.” —Washington Times. “It is a fascinating theatrical conceit that Mike Nichols (the director) fashions…absolutely modern.” —Hollywood Reporter. “Only a man as steeped in Shakespeare as Kenneth Welsh could have devised this script…seventy-seven minutes of enchantment.” —NY Magazine.