Theatre Mirror Reviews - "MAC...BETH?!, the comedy"

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"MAC...BETH?!, the comedy"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Radioactive Theatre Company's current production at the Arctic Playhouse is "Mac...Beth?!", an original comedy written by Stephen Nani and Shannon McLoud and that Shakespeare guy! This isn't your average Scottish Play production. Join world renowned talk show host Randy T. Coiler as he delves deep into the problems of some of Shakespeare's most famous characters. Lies, deception, murder and a good healthy dose of pop culture turns this tale upside down. This play is a fast paced comedy for those who love Shakespeare and even for those who don't. The writing pair tackled this show two years ago and were pleased with that production but knew there could be more. "We have an added an almost entire act this time around. We've changed the jokes, and made this a whole night of theatre." explains co-writer Shannon McLoud. "This cast is full of talented comedic actors who are having a lot of fun with their roles. "Macbeth" is an all time great play and has been staged countless times." Director Stephen Nani continues "That being said, I am confident that it has never been staged like this before!" Take 25 performers and put them into a comic version of this well known play, while presenting it as a TV show with a smarmy host who tries to pick up ladies in the audience, grills cast members and interacts with everyone in the theatre. Also use a mixture of adult and child performers who are used in the flashback scenes with humorous results and you have the ingredients to this very funny show that will definitely tickle your funny bone.

Playing the lead role of Randy T. Coiler is Tom Morey. He is spectacular in this role, commanding the stage at all times. He is reminiscent of Jerry Springer and Geraldo Rivera. Tom's interactions with the cast and audience are terrific. You actually believe he is a host of a TV show. Calamity occurs every time he mentions Mac's name so he calls him many other comic names. He also gives out autographed photos of himself. His first three guests are the three witches. The three weird sisters are excellently played by Kathleen Seagriff, Catherine Young and Jennifer Mensel, the evil sister, the dumb sister and the singing sister. Their antics are priceless and have to be seen to be believed. The steal many a scene while being on stage throughout the whole show. Randy's next guests are the MacDuff family who argue up a storm with each other while Randy delves into their marital problems and his problem while growing up in Mac's shadow. Riley Houlihan took over the role a week ago, learning all these lines and delivering a topnotch performance. Jessica Cooke and Noah Colangelo are hoots as his wife and son. They all have very comic one liners which win many laughs.

One of the biggest scene stealers is Shannon McLoud as Lady Macbeth. She enters at all times with a cleaning utensil in hand, chasing characters with a feather duster, cleaning a bald man's head with a spray cleaner and uttering her comic lines brilliantly. We learn how she became a cleaning fanatic during the course of the show. Her real life husband, David plays Macbeth with gusto and verve while wearing a Burger King crown. He is a hoot in this role with his clever one liners. Their son Brady plays Young Macbeth in a flashback scene, showing talent runs in their family. Bill Pett is also spooky as Banquo. Is he a figment of the killer's imagination or is he really there to appear on Randy's show? Another scene stealer is Jonathan Safford as a trio of Doctors called in to help out the situation. He plays Dr. Strange, Dr. Seuss and Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Kudos to the whole cast for delivering a truly comic performance that pleased the large audience leaving them merrily laughing all night long. Make sure you call the box office at the Arctic Playhouse to be sure to catch this comedy version of the Scottish Play. Tell them Tony sent you.

MAC...BETH?!, the comedy (1 to 9 April)
Radioactive Theatre Company, The Arctic Playhouse, 117 Washington Street, West Warwick, RI
1(401)573-3443 or

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