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LA Theater Review

Four Clowns: Romeo and Juliet

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Regard for the Bard and the venerable art of clowning reach a perilous new low as the Four Clowns brutally burlesque Shakespeare's immortal tale of star-crossed lovers into an excruciatingly witless 90 minutes of egregious, nonstop mugging and scatological excess. Alexis Jones and Kevin Klein take on the titular roles, transforming the tragic characters into foulmouthed, genitally obsessed louts in whiteface and bulbous red noses. A hyperactive Raymond Lee doubles as the squeaking emcee and Mercutio; Zach Steel is the lumbering Tybalt (among others). Seven writers (including the cast and director Jeremy Aluma) take credit for an "adaptation" that gives unwelcome new meaning to the terms "broad" and "coulrophobia."

ArtWorks Theatre (Fringe Central), 6567 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. Fri., June 24, 10:30 p.m.; Sat., June 25, 7:30 p.m. Hollywoodfringe.org/projects/359.

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