Richard 3 at #fringeNYC

I am not a big fan of staged violence and my music tastes lean more towards folk than punk, although I must admit there is some pretty violent folk music if you listen closely to the lyrics. For theatre, I love modern adaptations of the classics, especially Shakespeare. I'm also a big fan of political theatre and I've previously written about the political background of the director of Richard 3.

So, I approached the Less Than Rent Production of Richard 3 with a high level curiosity. A post-apocalyptic rendition of Shakespeare's Richard the Third had the potential to be amazingly good or amazingly bad.

It was great. There were a few rough spots for me as I had problems making out some of the lyrics of a few of the songs they intermixed in the performance, but that did not detract from the amazing experience.

Here in Connecticut, we have Linda McMahon, CEO of WWE running for U.S. Senate. She has defended the staged violence in their productions as following a soap opera theme. I think that is a disservice to soap operas. Her productions are worthless.

If McMahon had any class, any culture, any artistic sensibility; if she sought something higher than soap operas while holding on to the gore, she might aspire to a production like Richard 3. But the young troupe from Less Than Rent Productions has more raw talent, more highly directed energy and much more credibility to pull off a masterpiece than all of McMahon's domain could ever dream of.

There are some great performances at FringeNYC this year, but of the plays I've seen so far, Richard 3 is at the top of the list.

Side note: Normally, I post my music reviews on Monday. Richard 3 makes a great use of music in their show, including a very creative use of "On Eagles Wings", so I'm considering this my Music Monday post as well.

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