ShakesBEER pours a ration of culture along with the drinks

By Lucy Komisar

A beer bottle holder for the pub crawl.

Dozens of patrons, as many as 75, artistic director Ross Williams said, perched on stools and benches and gathered in the pit as actors performed excerpts from four of Shakespeare‘s plays: “The Comedy of Errors,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It” and “Henry IV, part 2.”

The event was to raise money for the community-based Shakespeare programs of the New York Shakespeare Exchange, a non-profit that serves new audiences.

As You Like It with Kim Krane as Rosalind and Malloree Hill as Phoebe, photo Lucy Komisar.

The level of artistry was mixed. I thought Malloree Hill as Phoebe in “As You Like It” was quite good, of a quality you‘d expect in a theater.

Some of the other actors were rather screechy.

Comedy of Errors with Desiree Pinol as Dromio of Ephesus and Anaseini Katoa as Adriana, photo Lucy Komisar.

Dromio (Desiree Pinol) arrived pulling wheeled luggage. And he and Adriana (Anaseini Katoa) jumped onto a table to do their lines from “The Comedy of Errors.”

Directors were Williams and Martavius Parrish.

Running from 3 to 6pm the ShakesBEER pub crawl takes 45 minutes in each of four Lower East Side bars, The Donnybrook, The Parkside Lounge, C Lounge, and Mama‘s Bar. It‘s an easy walk between them.

Most of the fans appeared to be in their 20s and 30s, not too far in years from English classes where they read the plays. The event took on the air of a party. It was the perfect Millennial afternoon, pretend you are imbibing culture while you are imbibing quite a bit of wine or beer. By the end, I wouldn‘t want to ask anyone what they had just heard!

But from the huzzahs people shouted on cue, they seemed to think it a pretty good way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

ShakesBEER. Excerpts from “The Comedy of Errors,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “As You Like It” and “Henry IV, part 2.” Written by William Shakespeare, directed by Ross Williams and Martavius Parrish. Presented by the New York Shakespeare Exchange. Performed at The Donnybrook, The Parkside Lounge, C Lounge, and Mama‘s Bar, bars on the Lower East Side, New York City.  Sept 7 and 14, 2019. 9/15/19.

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