“Shotspeare” debuted Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza and will run through Saturday, Oct. 7. The performance “combines the greatest playwright in history with endless amounts of drunken amusement, creating a must-see comedic twist” on the Shakespeare classic “Romeo & Juliet,” according a release.
“’Shotspeare’ is basically a ‘Drunk History’ of all those plays you never quite understood,” said Matt Morgan, show co-creator and graduate from the Ringling Brothers School of Clowning, in a release. “Our show is equal parts bacchanal and classical theater, harkening back to the actual time of Shakespeare where audience members (groundlings) were boisterous and part of the show.”
Prior to the show, cast members walked around to each audience member and poured vodka into the mouths of anyone who wanted some, while the other cast members made jokes and chugged beers onstage.
To help engage the audience, select seats in the theater had “Shotspeare” cards under them, and those audience members could yell out, “Shotspeare!” at any point during the show and the cast members would drink. One audience member even joined the show; he was given the script and read lines throughout the show, all while the cast members fed him shots and beers.
During the show, the cast would spin the “Wheel of Soliloquy,” then the audience or other cast members would perform whatever the wheel landed on. At one point, the wheel instructed us to throw balled up socks at a cast member while he performed a monologue. Another time, a cast member fed the poor audience/cast member crackers while he tried to read a speech — hilarity ensued. Check out our Instagram story @MaximizeStL to see a few snippets of the show.
The interactive performance is full of “adult” humor, so I wouldn’t recommend bringing the kids to this one, but it’s a great way to spend an evening in the Lou this weekend. As someone who doesn’t necessarily seek out theater performances, I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun this was; the actors certainly knew how to keep a smile on my face.
It’s not too late to miss this unique take on Shakespeare. You can catch the performance at 7:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday Oct. 6-7 at the Playhouse. Tickets are available at the box office one hour prior to the show each night or at www.metrotix.com or by calling 314-534-1111. M