Rousuck's Review: "Welcome to Shakesville" from BROS | WYPR

Rousuck's Review: "Welcome to Shakesville" from BROS

Jun 13, 2019

Derek Cooper as FLUTE, Emma Hawthorn and Michael Paradiso as LEFT and RIGHT CASTANETS
Credit Photo by Tatiana Nya Ford

It's Thursday, and time for theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck's weekly review of a regional stage production. This week, she joins Tom to talk about the latest offering from Baltimore Rock Opera Society, a kid-friendly musical production called Welcome to Shakesville.

Conceived by Sarah Gorman, with book by Mark Martino and Bobby Harris and music by Trevor Shipley, Welcome to Shakesville tells the tale of a gifted young African American artist named Betty and her  journey toward artistic self-awareness.  As the BROS program puts it, it's a "hip and trippy" journey that's told, and sung, using the pop-culture imagery, puppetry, fantasy and multi-genre music that energized such iconic 60s and 70's TV shows and movies as H.R. Pufnstuf, The Muppet Show, and Yellow Submarine.  The BROS production, directed by Lucia A. Treasure, features lead performances by Jacquan Knox as Betty and Matthew Casella as Jimmy, the puppetry of Tatiana Ford, and the music of  a 10-man band called The Far Outs, under the direction of  bandmember Trevor Shipley.

The Baltimore Rock Opera Society's production of Welcome to Shakesville continues at Zion (Lutheran) Church of the City of Baltimore, located at 400 Lexington Street, through Sunday, June 16.  For showtimes, directions and ticketing information, click here.