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Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender

Members say: Great acting, Original, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing
82
Critics
65
5 reviews
Members
85
13 reviews
 

Lisa Wolpe’s new solo show celebrates the enchanting power of performing cross-gender Shakespeare.

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In this autobiographical solo show, Wolpe plays Hamlet, Richard III, Shylock, and other great male characters created by the Bard, while also incorporating tales from her own dramatic life. Wolpe, the Producing Artistic Director of the all-female LA Women's Shakespeare Company, is an activist as well as a celebrated actress and director. Her work seeks to liberate us from the gender box of expectations. Presented in repertory with 'Macbeth3.'

 

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Reviews (18)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
65
Avg Score

45
The New York Times

"As a piece of theater, it feels more like a lecture, delivered with the house lights up but curiously absent of intimacy...The alchemy of gender the show’s title mentions is more evident in Ms. Wolpe’s stories than in her channeling the words of Richard III or Henry V...There are interesting glimmers throughout the show. More often, though, there is a self-help vibe to the proceedings." Full Review

85
TheaterScene.net

“Ms. Wolpe demonstrates a fluid physicality and a soothing vocal expressiveness. Wolpe quite adeptly offers rich characterizations of some of those most illustrious roles. In addition, she seamlessly switches to delivering revelatory reminiscences and concise analysis of the plays with elan that recalls Spalding Gray’s monologues. The combination of these elements yields to a wonderful performance.” Full Review

90
UK Theatre Network

for a previous production "‘Shakespeare & The Alchemy of Gender’ does not only celebrate Shakespeare's work, it is also a chronicle of the fascinating and tragic history of Wolpe's family. By interweaving scenes from Shakespeare's plays with events in the history of her family, Lisa Wolpe shows the liberating power of Shakespeare's words…Wolpe's mesmerizing performance celebrates Shakespeare's language and shows the humanity of his writing...A celebration of Shakespeare's humanism, love and life." Full Review

85
A Younger Theatre

for a previous production "It is impossible not to be touched by her heartfelt performance. The audience gains insight into what makes Shakespeare’s male characters so liberating for her to play and how her slowly unraveling family tragedies helped reveal Shakespeare as a humanist…Even for audiences who have never experienced similar situations to Wolpe, there is something that appeals to all...It’s like group therapy, where you leave enlightened and liberated." Full Review

95
The New Current

for a previous production "Wolpe brilliantly owns the stage and each of Shakespeare's male characters that she brings to life are done so with the power of reconnection…It is Wolpe's spin and understanding of the texts as well as the characters that make each scene she does have depth and purpose…It’s a tall order for any performer to be writer, actor and director of their one woman show but Wolpe was clearly undaunted by the task." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
85
Avg Score

95
Original, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if If you are interested in how Shakespeare is relevant even now, like biographical family drama and have an interest in the holocaust.

Don't see it if If you don't enjoy gender bending. Are not interested in self revelatory drama or don't like Shakespeare or holocaust themes

92
Original, Great acting, Intelligent, Must see, Great writing

See it if Want to experience the depth and humanity of Shakespeare. Ms. Wolpe's performance is masterful, eloquent and real. You will be moved.

Don't see it if Just see it.

100
Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Must see, Riveting

See it if You want the clearest, most nuanced & masterful, truthful, layered & spiritual contemporary Shakespeare you'll ever hear; the purest theatre

Don't see it if The actor's tools of voice and hand and heart and soul and truth, or clarity and language alone don't fit into in your theatrical philosophy

81
Original, Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like-modern interpretations of classics- plays tackling several serious subjects-memoirs-single character plays carried by a great actor

Don't see it if you-don’t like modern interpretations of classics-want a Shakespearean play with many actors-are not interested in memoirs-want a musical

70
Original, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you like Shakespeare and memoirs.

Don't see it if your eyes glaze over at the mention of Shakespeare.

82
Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Emotional

See it if to see an expert interpretation of Shakespeare's words interwoven into real life's tragedies & joys. Lisa Volpe is amazing!

Don't see it if You cannot accept gender transparency in the interpretation of Shakepeare's works. Talk about the Holicaust horrors makes you uncomfortable.

85
Original, Creative, Profound, Moving, Heartfelt

See it if You'd enjoy and appreciate a wellcrafted and well-acted memoir adeptly weaving Shakespeare samplings with personal history. Conversational.

Don't see it if You aren't familiar with Shakesoeare, dislike solo or memoir-style shows, or are illiberally judgmental about women playing men's roles.

92
Original, Great acting, Intelligent, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want an expertly crafted play that weaves Shakespeare into a memoir that never feels narcissistic. You're familiar w/Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You don't know anything about Shakespeare's characters. You don't like memoir plays. You don't like intimate venues w/the actor very close.

49
Original, Dizzying, Great acting, Great writing, Confusing

See it if you can dig monologues and enjoy fast paced dialogue which intertwined with her family history

Don't see it if unfamiliar with holocost history; unnerved by rapid changeover between family history and allusions to Shakespeare;vague genderbending

88
Original, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You enjoy one person shows that address the fragility of life and the human soul, the cost of the choices we make, and Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You don't like women playing traditionally male roles, Shakespeare, or something heavy.

100
Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if You like great acting

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare

95
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You love Shakespeare, stories of personal transformation, and intimate theater experiences.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable when the performers can see your face or if you prefer fictional stories.

84
Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare and innovative casting

Don't see it if you hate words