What would Shakespeare do? - Tucson Local Media: El Sol

What would Shakespeare do?

He’d run right out and see ‘Premiere!’

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Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 3:00 am

Have you ever told a lie only to regret it later? That’s the premise for “Premiere!,” a new comedy being performed through May 22 at the Invisible Theatre.

The story centers on playwright Gil Fryman, who bemoans his successful career as a comedy writer because he feels he is far more talented as a verse playwright. His wife, Rebecca, and agent/brother-in-law, Peter, are content to bask in Gil’s profitable streak of three award-winning comedies. Gil, however, is not. He wants to be challenged and appreciated for his other talents.

An opportunity to change the status quo arises when Gil’s father-in-law, Dr. Eli Brand, acquires a massive book collection that is rumored to include an often-talked-about, but never-seen work by the legendary William Shakespeare.

Gil opines that he could write a play worthy of the Bard himself, and caught up in her husband’s enthusiasm, Rebecca challenges him to do the deed.

Can Gil’s verses fool noted Shakespeare expert Professor Justinia Hawkins? Can the local forger, Lefty Guggenheim, produce a printed version of the play that will make Professor Hawkins squeal with glee? You have to see the play to find out.

And the play is worth seeing. Robert Anthony Peters has fun as Gil. Peters is a likeable actor who evolves his character from dissatisfied to amused to frantic. He and Thomas have a good connection and play well off each other. Thomas hit all the high notes spot on. Her subtleties of character lacked somewhat during the play’s second performance. In fact, some of the play’s pacing that night was off, but I’m sure these issues have been fully resolved now that the play has run for more than a week.

My favorite was Roberto Guajardo as the stiff-upper-lipped Dr. Eli Brand. His character has fewer lines than the others, but they are delivered with deft comedic timing.

Victoria McGee and Nick Cianciotti also were enjoyable as Hawkins and Guggenheim, respectively.

Thumbs up to a good cast, fine set and funny material. I’m sure even Shakespeare would enjoy “Premiere!”

If you go

What: "Premiere!," a comedy by award-winning playwright Dale Wasserman

When: Through May 22

Where: Invisible Theatre,

1400 N. First Ave., at Drachman

Tickets: $25

For more information or tickets, visit www.invisibletheatre.org or call


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