‘Thee and Thou’ premiere succeeds as brisk comedy

By John Brandenburg Modified: January 26, 2009 at 4:48 am •  Published: January 26, 2009
An original script by Bret Jones gave a good comic spin to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the tendency of the theater world to overdo it in general Thursday at Jewel Box Theatre.

The play not only made the rehearsal of a tragedy play a comedy but exploited mistaken identity, with the real Will and the fake Shakespeare exchanging dueling couplets in its hilarious finale.

Called "Thee and Thou” and set at William Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in 1599, the wonderfully wacky backstage drama was given a rousing performance by the nine-member Jewel Box cast.

Jon Haque offered a robust, intentionally exaggerated depiction of Richard Burbage, the Globe’s landlord, constantly battling his poet-in-residence, Shakespeare, over the artistic direction of the company.

Wearing no breeches, to dramatize his preference for tragedy over comedy, Haque nearly stole the show in his Elisabethan underwear, especially when the wardrobe mistress tried to make him put on short pants.

Joshua Cain was just forceful yet flaky enough as Shakespeare, who isn’t interested in romantic entanglements and suffers not from writer’s block but the inability to quit making up couplets.

Much less complex were the motives and couplets of Bryan Whorton as a thief who impersonates Shakespeare after fleeing into the theater to save himself, then falls for the Bard’s ex-girlfriend, Agnes.

"Thee and Thou”
Where: Jewel Box Theatre, 3700 N Walker.

When: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, through Feb. 8.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for students.

Information: 521-1786 or www.jewelboxtheatre.org.

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