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The great bard on tap • Brooklyn Paper

The great bard on tap

Alas, poor Yorick!: “Shakesbeer” producer Zac Hoogendyk and actor Kelli Ruttle at the Backyard bar in Park Slope.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Fair is foul and foul is a hangover.

A boozy Shakespearean-themed pub-crawl duly named “Shakesbeer” that takes the works of the great English playwright and poet from the stage into the bar will be taking over Park Slope on Aug. 17.

Alcohol-loving theater-junkies will get the chance to feast on scenes taken from the 16th century writer’s most notable productions all while sipping on a pint inside some of the neighborhood’s watering holes.

“Drinking and Shakespeare are kind of a match made in heaven,” said Zac Hoogendyk, the producer at New York Shakespeare Exchange, which is the theater group organizing the theatrical bar crawl.

“There is so much drinking in Shakespeare, it’s silly,” he said, adding that Sir John Falstaff, one of Shakespeare’s most popular and beloved characters, is also “one of the most famous drunks of all time.”

For a $40 ticket, patrons will get four drinks and see four different performances acted out by professional actors at four local pubs starting at Fourth Avenue’s Mission Dolores, followed by Loki Lounge, Beauty Bar, and Backyard.

“It gets pretty raucous,” said Hoogendyk, adding that the scenes are put on right in the middle of the boozy crowd.

“It’s not a typical sit in your seat, be polite, and silently enjoy the show type of experience.”

At each bar the cast will perform one approximately 10 minute scene from Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “As You Like It,” “Cymbeline,” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Hoogendyk said that the best Shakesbeer scenes provide for lots of audience interaction – which is something that Shakespeare himself strived to achieve.

“The mission of New York Shakespeare Exchange is to offer innovative programming that explores what happens when contemporary culture is infused with Shakespearean poetry and themes in unexpected ways,” he said. “The plays are exciting, hilarious, tragic, and beautiful, and I want to share my understanding of them with other people.”

The upcoming Shakesbeer bar crawl will be the theater troupe’s seventh since the first one was held two years ago. Hoogendyk promises that the drunken event is a blast even if you’re not fond of the famed playwright’s work.

“Whether you’re a Shakespeare aficionado or a total Shakespeare hater, you will have a good time,” he said. “And you’ll probably see Shakespeare in a way you never have before.”

The Shakesbeer bar crawl is also happening in Queens and Manhattan later this month.

Shakesbeer in Park Slope [begins at Mission Dolores at 249 Fourth Ave. between Carroll and President streets in Park Slope, tickets available atwww.shakespeareexchange.org]. Aug. 17, 2:30 pm, $40.

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