Monday, April 02, 2007

Roger Rees wants you to learn to stop worrying and love the Bard.

He arrives onstage in "What You Will," his new one-man show, with a bust of the playwright under his arm, and proceeds to talk to and about him in the flippant manner of one who is not impressed with the writer's body of work. As he notes with a conspiratorial sneer, there weren't that many people on the planet in Shakespeare's time.

"Anyone," Rees notes tongue-in-cheekily, "could get published in those days."

This contrarian prologue to the 90-minute piece, which had its premiere over the weekend in a brief run at Folger Theatre, establishes an easygoing accessibility and the actor's charming campaign to divest the appreciation of Shakespeare of any fusty traces of reverence.

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