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Making someone laugh is hard. Making them laugh with nothing but words on a page is REALLY hard.

That’s why the contenders for great comedic literature are so limited; while most writers worth their salt can elicit a few chuckles over the course of a novel, only a scant handful can use comedy as a literary foundation. It’s the difference between books with some comic aspects and legitimate comic novels. There are plenty of the former and surprisingly few of the latter.

Of course, then you have someone like Christopher Moore who totally throws off the curve. See, Moore’s entire bibliography is packed with capital-C Comic novels, including a couple that warrant inclusion among the very best ever (though even lesser Moore is funnier than 99.9% of the self-styled comedic literature out there).

His latest is “Shakespeare for Squirrels” (William Morrow, $28.99), the third in his ongoing series of parodic pastiche featuring the erstwhile fool Pocket of Dog Snogging. Like its predecessors “Fool” and “The Serpent of Venice,” this latest offering drops its nimble, quick-witted and foul-mouthed protagonist into a setting spun off from the brilliance of the Bard.

Moore brings his usual satiric edge and keen sense of the absurd to the table, mingling it exquisitely with a thoughtful depth of knowledge with regards to the works of Shakespeare. The resulting combination is bitingly funny and awash in coarse charm, a familiar narrative turned on its head. This book is fast-moving, smart … and utterly, unwaveringly hilarious.

Published in Buzz

ORONO – A beloved comedic classic is springing (or summering) to life at the University of Maine.

UMaine’s School of Performing Arts is presenting their production of William Shakespeare’s beloved “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Directed by Marcia Joy Douglas, the play runs through Nov. 19 at UMaine’s Hauck Auditorium.

Published in Buzz
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:13

The swaggering of hempen home-spuns

Ten Bucks Theatre presents A Midsummer Night's Dream'

BREWER The fine folks at Ten Bucks Theatre are at it again, bringing the Bard to the greater Bangor area masses.

Ten Bucks is presenting their eighth edition of 'Shakespeare Under the Stars' this year's offering is 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' - at Brewer's Indian Trail Park. Under the guiding hand of director Ben Layman and assistant director Julie Lisnet, the production runs through July 29. In addition, the show will be produced Aug. 2-5 at Fort Knox in Prospect. Thursday through Saturday performances start at 6 p.m., while Sunday shows start at 4.

'Midsummer' is perhaps the most famous of William Shakespeare's comedies. Young lovers Lysander and Hermia wish to be together, but Hermia's father Egeus has promised her to Demetrius. Meanwhile, Helena is in love with Demetrius. Theseus, ruler of Athens, upholds Egeus's will, leaving Lysander and Hermia to run away together. Demetrius pursues them while himself being pursued by Helena.

Published in Happenings

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