Wayward Productions and Director Carlo Lorenzo Garcia came together to produce a never before done rendition of Shakespeare’s Richard III. The play has been recreated many times over since it’s conception—oh, four centuries ago-- but never once to reflect biker gang culture – until now.
For those unfamiliar with the machination of Richard III, the play is about an English royal family – the infamous Yorks. Richard III envies his older brother King Edward IV because he inherited the throne to Richard’s contempt. But Richard’s insatiable thirst for power takes him on a debatably immoral journey to become king. Even though his quest requires him to be a murderer, which brings him obvious unpopularity among the kingdom, he stops at nothing.
Featured at Chicago’s Den Theater (1333 N. Milwaukee), a talented cast restores Shakespeare’s play with a distinctive spin of leather jackets, countless cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a jukebox filled with nothing but classic rock. With the audience wrapped around the stage (fourth wall, as it’s referred to in the theater world), it’s not difficult for one to become immersed in the intricate storyline and think that they are actually having a drink at the one percenter-esque bar with the rest of the well-costumed cast, instead of watching a play that is over 400 years old.
Garcia not only directed the play, but also brought to life the very dynamic lead character of Richard. Accompanied by Brittany Ellis, Natalie DiCristofano, Charlesanne Rabensburg, and Christopher Marcum playing the rest of the lead roles (Margaret, Elizabeth, the Duchess of York, and King Edward IV, respectively), Garcia’s execution of the legendary so-called tragedy would undoubtedly make Shakespeare proud, and perhaps get a laugh out of him too.
Tickets are available for purchase until June 29th at* www.waywardproductions.org.*
–review by KATIE SCHULTZ