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Monday September 13, 2010 1:44 pm

Cheapjack Shakespeare: Graphic Novel Play Breaks Records




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, Reviews

Cheapjack Shakespeare PosterThat new Spider-Man musical might want to call Shaun McLaughlin and ask him how it’s done. His play Cheapjack Shakespeare: The Non Musical just opened to a sold out crowd, “the largest fall opening in the history of (Buffalo’s) Alt Theatre,” according to the press release. According to McLaughlin, “Sex, drugs and iambic pentameter has proved a potent draw.”

And competition for opening night was fierce: Friday night’s debut was the kick off of Curtain Up!, the official start of Buffalo’s theatre season. Cheapjack Shakespeare: The Non Musical was competing against 16 other show openings. And first-time playwright McLaughlin emerged victorious. According to the author, “it was a sell out crowd. And they laughed. A lot.”

I’ve written about Cheapjack Shakespeare before. It’s McLaughlin’s adaptation of his own graphic novel, a comedy about a summer Shakespeare company falling apart as they’re beset by infidelity, egos, ambition “and a particularly ill-timed lightning strike.”

The play will continue its run on September 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24, and 25. Drew McCabe is the director and the cast includes Kristin Bentley, Arin Lee Dandes, Daniel Morris and McLaughlin. Tickets are still available for those performances, but maybe not for long.

McLaughlin is best-known as a television animation producer (Batman Beyond; Justice League), and he has an animated feature, Gene-Fusion, scheduled for release in 2011.

As a graphic novel, Cheapjack Shakespeare appears approximately five days a week on its own site. Collections are available at Drive Thru Comics and for the Kindle e-reader on Amazon.

Promotional videos appear weekly on YouTube.

For ticket information check out the Alt Theatre‘s website.

[Artwork: Promotional poster for Cheapjack Shakespeare]

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