What if William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Thomas Middleton, Francis Beaumont and Christopher Marlowe engaged in a playwriting competition? And what if that competition was staged as a Jacobean-era version of American Idol
? Such questions have been answered in George Crowe's hilarious play Shakespeare Night at the Blackfriars: London Idol 1610
. Richard Burbage is in a tight spot. Even though England's literary scene is flourishing, his theater -- the titular Blackfriars -- is failing. In an effort to boost ticket sales, he prevails upon the greatest playwrights alive (well, technically Marlowe is dead, but his ghost is happy to pitch in) to compete against each other. The results are wild and wacky "cover" plays based on Shakespeare's greatest works. Cross-dressing, cunning, ribald jokes and loony violence prevail in this daring world premiere at Phoenix Theatre Annex.
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