Who says Shakespeare can’t be hip? Bag O’ Bones Collective nails the chill vibe and youthful quality through an edgy mash-up of Bard’s many tales of love. The Three Clubs venue has a sexy atmosphere, and the audience cozies up in the dimly lit backroom cabaret-style space. The best way to summarize the evening was … chill.
The play itself feels like a cabaret; there’s music, hip hop, scenework, solo performances, interpretive dance, even a mime. It all flows together seamlessly though, and even the text itself feels fresh. “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” can still garner a hearty laugh from a young crowd, which I found extremely satisfying. Damn, Bill, you still got it. At times the text was under-voiced and under-energized, making it difficult to hear the more tender moments as the venue itself shares a wall with a loud, crowded bar (and should be noted that my theatre watching alter ego is a partially deaf cranky old lady).
Original music by Coates adds an edgy flare and stand-out performance by Jazzlyn K. Luckett elevates the quality of this production to a must-see. The innovative direction by Tinks Lovelace is refreshing; she’s not afraid to find new ways to tell old stories. Bag O’ Bones is really on to something here. Go get you some Shakespeare and Chill. Recommended.