See it if You like Shakespeare & are open to abridged plays; exceptional acting and staging; you want to see the "summary" of 4 plays in a night
Don't see it if You have a short attention span or don't really like Shakespeare - the show is 5 hours (including 3 intermissions)
See it if You love Shakespeare. You like non-traditional staging. You're OK being up close w/the actors & don't mind some audience interaction.
Don't see it if You hate Shakespeare. You don't like being close up to the actors & dislike audience interaction. You can't handle a 4 1/2 hr experience.
See it if You like Shakespeare and have the stamina to watch four abridged plays in one night. Good acting. Great space for the production.
Don't see it if You dislike Shakespeare.
See it if You like Shakespeare and are good with not traditional theater seating and experiences.
Don't see it if You don't like the action to happen right in front of you and you are not comfortable with the fourth wall broken.
See it if you love imaginative theater with great actors. I was astounded by the grace with which the six performers played dozens of parts.
Don't see it if you do not have the stamina for a very long evening. There is a dinner break with boxed meals.
See it if You love Shakespeare and can sit through a 4+ hour performance
Don't see it if you are unfamiliar with Hamlet, or any of the other plays performed
See it if you like Shakespeare, immersive theater, and great acting in a very intimate, cool space.
Don't see it if you're looking for a short play
See it if You are familiar w/Shakespeare (a synopsis will do) and want to experience an edited telling of 4 plays in an unusual & very cool space.
Don't see it if A 4 1/2 hr (w/ 2 intermissions) slice of the Bard is too much to bear. Also, if you're a stickler for classics faithfullness, miss this..
"If the thesis is that one mythic hero lives in 'Henry V,' 'Julius Caesar,' 'As You Like It,' and 'Hamlet,' in order for the audience to track this journey and explore it properly, one actor needed to portray all four of the individuals in each piece...As a complete night of four individual performances of Shakespeare, '1599' was something you’ll likely never see again. And in that regard, it’s something to shout from the rooftops. But it tried to be something that was not presented."
"'Project 1599' provides an excellent presentation of the most fruitful year in the life of Shakespeare. The wonderful cast demonstrates refreshing clarity in both articulation and performance, which makes the piece a potent educational tool. The spatial work by Niesen, and the scenic designers, is remarkable in its simple elegance and ability to establish a connection with the audience. Watching the actors transform into different characters is also a rare and valuable opportunity."
"Lucidly acted, boldly ambitious…Yet the edits of the texts made me think of fast-forwarding, as if we were watching one bit that caught our interest, then skipping over a bunch of other stuff…A great deal of the pleasure here comes from watching the actors’ transformations…I can’t help wish that the company, whose actors have such excellent chops, had staged all four plays in full. Edited, they become a curiosity out of context — Shakespeare reduced to less than he deserves to be."
“Director Jim Niesen has applied some very smart cuts to the texts to shave them down...The result is four and a half hours of great performances from some of the best plays in the Bard's repertoire…Nielsen makes good use of every inch of the theater, which resembles a crumbling Westminster Abbey...Irondale Ensemble, a fearless company that you should really know about if you don't already.”
"Niesen’s notion is to present during one four-hour-plus offering each play in a trimmed-to-an-hour version and performed by the same six-person team...To be sure, the evening is something of a stunt. Yet the earnestness with which it unfolds in various parts of the main Irondale performance room goes some distance to make the time spent rewarding. Plus, the actors exhibit eye-popping stamina, especially Spieth as Rosalind and Collins as Hamlet."
“Niesen gets down to the meat of the stories, but they never feel rushed...If you don't already know the plays, it could be harder to keep up with the plotlines...The format doesn't necessarily bring any new insights into the plays...That doesn't really matter, though. It's a fun experiment and a unique theatrical experience that allows us to absorb the breadth and depth of the Bard's genius in one fell swoop.”