High school tropes meet Shakespearean insults in this hilarious yet still devastating rendition of Richard III. From the name alone I was excited to see this production, and needless to say, I was not disappointed. Using lights and mirrors to invoke the intensity and contemplative darkness that is signature of many of Shakespeare’s tragedies, while also featuring phenomenal and moving acting from all members of the cast, it was definitely a treat to watch — it is a play “not to be fucketh with,” as the dialogue goes.
One aspect I appreciated was an addition found towards the end of the show — an introspective monologue by Anne Margaret (played by Cassandra Consliglio) during one of the play’s final and darkest scenes that sheds light on how many of Shakespeare’s stories disregard the suffering and, in a sense, humanity of many of the female characters he creates. It’s not something that I’ve seen being done in any Shakespeare rendition I’ve watched so far. These choices, in stark contrast to the inherently goofy nature of Teenage Dick, made it into a show that made me simultaneously want to laugh until my stomach hurt and sulk in a corner. Don’t get me wrong though — although it’s a tragedy, the cast does an excellent job executing the script’s funniest lines, and the animation with which each actor played their characters made the audience crack up over and over again. Christopher Imbrosciano (Richard Gloucester) did such an amazing job playing his role, creating a Richard who I loved, hated, related to, and was disgusted by; his anger at the world felt so real, and in my opinion, he was perfect for the job of portraying a bullied boy who has an unyielding drive to get his revenge for all the pain he has felt. Similarly, Cassandra Consiglio (Anne Margaret) was able to bring to life a girl who was meant to merely be a love interest and tool for Richard to obtain power. Her dancing skills were beautiful to watch and she portrayed Anne with earnesty and honesty. Another actor I would like to praise is Cadence Rush Quibell (Barbara “Buck” Buckingham) who played Buck with a hilarity that had the audience falling for them even more than Richard. Their delivery of their more comical lines were highlights of the play, and any scene they were in would instantly be filled with witty responses that wrangled Richard back in from his scheming and put him in his place.
If you want to watch a theatre performance that will make you laugh and cry, that will keep you at the edge of your seat, that will make you sad to remember that it must end at some point, Teenage Dick is definitely a must watch! Another perk: they have a Disability Artists Market in the lobby where you can browse cute plushies and bead jewellery, and a locker that you can vandalize with sharpies!