A comedic gumbo Show mixes Shakespeare, Old West, more

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Pied Piper Playhouse is serving up a dash of Shakespeare, a dollop of the American West and a smidgen of vaudeville.
“Shakespeare Goes to Gravel Gulch or … The Villain Drove a Bard Bargain” is a comedic mix of genres.
“You’ve got villains and various people talking to the audience and doing little asides,” said Jimmy Grisham, director. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The show starts when a troupe of Shakespearean actors comes to town to put on a show.
“When the townspeople are at the Shakespeare show, the crooks associated with the show are out looting and stealing from people’s homes,” Grisham said.
That doesn’t sit well with the Texas Ranger, Johnny Lasso, or his sidekick, Raspy.
“‘Raspy’ reminds me of Roy Rogers’ old sidekick, Gabby Hayes,” Grisham said. “I mentioned Gabby Hayes to the kids and, I mean, they didn’t have a clue.”
Noble Hart is the leader of the actors and/or crooks. The villains include Pecos Pete, Terrible Ted and Swindler.
“There are a lot of great names in this play,” Grisham said.
If Shakespeare isn’t your cup of tea, understand that “Shakespeare Goes to Gravel Gulch or … The Villain Drove a Bard Bargain” plays fast and loose with the playwright’s creations.
“They have McBeth and Hamlet in the same play,” Grisham said. “One of
the lines is, ‘To be or not to be, now what was the question? They get Shakespeare quotes all messed up.”
If you don’t have enough Shakespeare, Old West or vaudeville in your life, then Pied Piper has you covered.
“I think kids will get a kick out of it,” Grisham said, “and there are lines that the adults will get, too.”

Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.