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THREE MADCAP MEN (left to right) -- Bob Boland, Andy Browers and Eric Benson -- perform a high-speed, modern condensation of Shakespeare's famous plays in "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)." The comedy is in its final week of performances at Long Lake Theater in Hubbard. Performances are set for Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, Aug. 26 at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m. There will be no performance on Saturday. Aug. 28. Tickets are available at the box office ...

Shakespeare parody in final week at Long Lake Theater

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Forget everything you learned about Shakespeare in high school English class.

"The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" offers a hilarious, whirlwind condensation of the Bard's timeless tales.

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The comedy begins its final week of performances this Wednesday, Aug. 25, to close out the ninth summer season at Hubbard's Long Lake Theater.

This irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard's plays was London's longest-running comedy. Since its inception in 1987, it has been produced on stages worldwide.

"You've never seen Shakespeare like this -- 37 plays and 154 sonnets by three guys in less than 97 minutes," says director Tracy Nicole Klefsas, who also works as an English and theater teacher, most recently at Red Lake High School.

This fall, she'll begin teaching at Bemidji High School.

This slapstick comedy marks Klefsas' directorial debut at Long Lake Theater.

The madcap men in tights -- Andy Browers, Eric Benson and Bob Boland, all of Bemidji -- weave their wicked way through all of Shakespeare's comedies, histories and tragedies in one wild ride.

No soliloquy is safe in the hands of pithy playwrights Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. Imagine portraying "Titus Andronicus" as a cooking show, "Othello" in old-school rap style, and all of Shakespeare's tragedies transformed into a giant football game.

This zany tribute uses puns and pop culture to create a hysterical show.

"My hope is that this show will highlight the best of Shakespeare; the duels, romance, vomiting, crude jokes, marriages, deceit, murder, ghosts, and, of course, the cross-dressing," said Klefsas.

There will be four performances this week: Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 3 p.m.; Thursday, Aug. 26 at 3 and 7:30 p.m.; and Friday Aug. 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Long Lake Theater is located in Hubbard, about 8 miles southeast of Park Rapids. Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children. To make reservations, call the theater at 218-732-0099 or visit longlaketheater.com.

Tickets are also available at Sister Wolf Books in Dorset and Beagle Books in Park Rapids.

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