fans of The simpsons might want to consider checking out this year’s Shakespeare Festival.
When you think of Shakespeare, the images of Homer and Marge Simpson don’t usually come to mind. However, this year’s Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival brings the dysfunctional cartoon family to life in an evocative musical production.
Mr. Burns, a post-electric piece takes place in a future where the power grid is down and society is on the brink of destruction. Because there are no more streaming services, DVD players, or computer hard drives, a group of survivors pass the time by recanting their favorite episodes around the fire.
While trying to remember their favorite The Simpsons episode, the group of survivors realize that they don’t necessarily remember all the details. The show returns seven years later when the band formed their own performance troupe which staged a play within the play of The simpsons. The actors do their best to remember details from the beloved show and task audience members with helping them remember actual punchlines and jokes.
Finally, musical production progresses 75 years to a time when this mutilated memory of The Simpsons episode eventually evolved into an epic opera. Mr. Burns, a post-electric piece is meant to show how pop culture can evolve into mythology and high art. It’s a great metaphor for Shakespeare himself, whose plays were essentially the sitcom of his day.
In this context, the play is a perfect complement to the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. The Bard originally targeted his plays at ordinary people who sought entertainment. Today, as The simpsons in this innovative musical, Shakespeare is presented as “high-end” entertainment.
Mr. Burns, a post-electric piece will run until September 17. Tickets are available on the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival website.
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