LIVE: Ridiculously Funny “The Hound of the Baskervilles” Knocks ‘Em Dead at Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

July 26th, 2011, 3:45 pm by Sara
Josh Aaron McCabe, Jonathan Croy, and Ryan Winkles in "Hound of the Baskervilles." (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Josh Aaron McCabe, Jonathan Croy, and Ryan Winkles in "Hound of the Baskervilles." (photo: Kevin Sprague)

When a critic sees a show, the next day they will write a review which will either laud or excoriate the performance. But there are days when even the most persnickety pundit just wants to have fun. People are very much like that too. After a tough day at work, or struggling with a home project, there comes a time to unwind and if you have been having moments like that lately, this is the show to see. Seeing The Hound of the Baskervilles, you will literally laugh your cares away during the course of its performance.

It is so funny, so over the top, the only metaphor that seems to fit is when you shake up a can of carbonated soda and pop the top. Sparkling, fizzy and way over the top, this show comes at you like a freight train of laughs that carries everyone in its path along for a high speed ride into brilliant dialogue, clever ad libs and some of the best physical comedy ever seen on a Berkshire stage. Best of all, it keeps a knowledgeable and agile mind active since the work is layered with literary, theatrical and everyday references. They come at you so fast and furious that all that laughing can literally take the breath away.

Opening night there were a lot of young people in the audience, and their clear enjoyment of every minute further prompted the three principal members of the cast, Jonathan Croy, Josh Aaron McCabe and Ryan Winkles into misbehaving, adding unscripted lines, bits of business and audience interaction in an effort to crack each other up. They succeeded, egged on by an audience they seemed to encourage bad behavior on stage. In short, it is simply a wonderful, whacky and witty evening of theatre. As it rushed along I thought it resembled the autobahn of comedy – there was simply no speed limit, no rules to enforce, just floor the accelerator and see how funny a show can be.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


LIVE: “The Hound of the Baskervilles” @ Shakespeare & Company, Lenox [GailSez]

July 26th, 2011, 3:00 pm by Sara
Sir Henry (Winkles) loses his trousers...again. (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Sir Henry (Winkles) loses his trousers...again. (photo: Kevin Sprague)

Sometimes size does matter and bigger is better. Tony Simotes’ 2009 staging of Steven Canny and John Nicholson’s hilarious three-man version of The Hound of the Baskervilles filled the intimate Bernstein Theatre with laughs, and now this new staging in the larger Founders’ Theatre is bigger and better in every way. Bigger jokes, bigger comedy, bigger laughs.

All my colleagues went and used their best canine puns in their reviews of Sylvia at the BTF. Sylvia is pleasant fun. The Hound of the Baskervilles is, literally, howlingly funny.

Key to the fun is the amazing, amazing, amazing (did I say AMAZING?) cast. Josh Aaron McCabe, Ryan Winkles, and Jonathan Croy are perfection, and on opening night half the fun was watching them crack each other up with ad libs and hilarious cover lines for the gaffs that inevitably crop up in a show this fast-paced. Everyone was having a ball, including the sadly uncredited stage crew. What, they get a curtain call and they don’t get their names in the program? Booo!

Click to read the rest at GailSez.

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