LeGacy Presents opened its latest production Friday with “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged) … Revised.”
The comedy, written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield, is a parody of all of William Shakespeare’s plays and performed on stage by three actors. The production is directed by Scott Ewing, whose roots with the show go back to its beginning.
“A week or so before I graduated from Pepperdine in 1987, a friend took me to see the world premiere of a one-hour show put on by a trio of hippies from the Renaissance Faire in a dusty pavilion at the remote Paramount Ranch movie lot,” Ewing said. “Although we sat near the front, I spent much of the show looking over my shoulder, marvelling at the show’s effect on the audience.”
Those actors would go on to form the Reduced Shakespeare Company and had planned to take their show, “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged)” to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.
After the original performance ended, Ewing, now a Nevada County resident, met with the trio to talk about the show’s potential.
“At the ensuing meeting, I convinced the three that together, we could turn their little show pro and take it all over the world. I had performed and helped promote at Edinburgh’s Fringe before, and I agreed to take on promotion for the troupe at their upcoming appearance there,” Ewing wrote. “It isn’t enough simply to go to Edinburgh. To grab the world’s attention, you first had to get reviewed and then you had to create a buzz.
“With everyone from professional reviewers to gardening writers reviewing shows at the world’s largest theater festival, my job was to get the right reviewers, to get the reviews printed early and to plaster the town with our presence, creating the buzz we needed.”
Ewing got the ‘buzz’ they needed, and after a successful showing at the festival, he joined the company as a full partner. He spent the next seven years helping the group get work.
“I shepherded the troupe through performances in 40 states and nine countries, including a year-long run in London. The company has gone on to write ‘Complete’ versions on some other iconic topics, and ‘The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)’ is now one of the most produced plays in the world. I’m quite proud of that,” Ewing wrote.
Ewing now owns and operates Ewing Ventures with his wife who has produced, under his direction, “Harold and Maude,” “Next to Normal” and last year’s hit “The Full Monty.”
With LeGacy’s “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged),” Ewing brings his insight and experience to Off Center Stage.
“This show relies on the chemistry of the performers to really make it sing, and as you’ll see, these three are a perfect trio,” he said. “Jon Enos returns to the stage after a 15-year hiatus, bringing just the right note of off-kilter gravitas. Trevor Wade, son of KNCO’s Holly Grimaldi Flores, has a wacky style that brings the show literally to the audience’s laps. And Jay Barker’s everyman-just-trying-to-get-along persona, coupled with the intelligence he brings to crafting moments, results in robust hilarity.”
The production runs through Oct. 7 at Off Center Stage on Richardson Street in Grass Valley. Performances are at 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. They can be purchased at Harmony Books in Nevada City, The Book Seller in Grass Valley or through the LeGacy Box Office at (530) 268-5419.
Tickets for tonight’s gala performance are $25 and include an Elizabethan feast with appetizers and wine.
For information go to www.legacypresents.com.