Generation NEXT at MacHomer 2: The Show!
Last Wednesday at the Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, a friend and I saw MacHomer, the one man spectacular mashing Shakespeare’s tragedy of Macbeth with over 50 impressions of characters from the TV series “The Simpsons”. Walking into the theatre was an interesting experience. The theme songs of familiar TV series played while we stared at a small set, simply a miniature TV set style podium backed by a large projector screen. From before the show even started, I could tell this was going to be something different.
And how little prepared I was for what took place that night. Rick Miller, the one and only star of the show, entered dressed in traditional Scottish garb, and began reciting the first lines of Macbeth as the Wyrd Sisters, but really as three side characters from The Simpsons: Captain McCallister, Moe Szyslak, and Principal Seymour Skinner. From the get go, we have surprising choices for characters (he referred to this later as “casting") and there were many more similar cases of juxtaposition (such as Apu as one of the murderers). But remarkably, Miller stayed true to the script, keeping many of the lines (at least the ones I could remember) and lampooning several of them at the same time. He begins the MacHomer speech of “Is this a dagger I see before me” quite faithfully until the “dagger” manifests quickly into a slice of pepperoni pizza.
Overall, my impressions of the show were favorable. Miller is an incredibly talented performer, as nearly all of his impressions were spot on and his ability to command an audience with humorous asides was admirable. The show was well written, witty, and fast-paced; so fast-paced, in fact, that it was hard to know what was going on at times. I did enjoy the omission of an intermission (with the exception of a humorous 15-second break for Miller himself) as it made the show go faster and would be pointless as the show in its entirety is less than 90 minutes long. Omitting intermissions is one of my favorite trends in theatre over the last five to ten years. Finally of note, Miller’s use of a camera hidden behind the podium to project his face onto the gigantic projector screen was ingenious. While theatre purists hate any type of video media within a show, Miller’s invention was utilized so brilliantly and for comedic effect that it did nothing but add to the hilarity of the show. I have to say, MacHomer was one of my favorite theatre experiences in some time. More on Miller himself and some of the behind-the-scenes information in my next post.