Berky, Bass reprise darkly comic ‘Richard 3.5’

Thursday January 3, 2013

PUTNEY -- Eric Bass and Bob Berky are back and they promise to kill again.

On Friday and Saturday, at 7:30 p.m., the acclaimed performers take the stage at Sandglass Theater for two performances of "Richard 3.5: light ruminations on murder."

Bass and Berky return for two nights of blood and guts entertainment with their two-man ragtime cabaret version of Shakespeare’s famous tale of power-driven murder. "Richard 3.5" is a dark comedy that pulls out all the stops and blends Shakespeare with puppets, physical comedy, and contemporary political relevance.

It’s showtime again, and onstage, live from the 15th century, King Richard III is here to perform, for your enjoyment, 11 murders and seven songs that Shakespeare never meant to write.

Surrounded by larger-than-life candles, from whose wax the puppet victims are created before your eyes, Richard and his Emcee Accomplice dance and sing their way through this epic tragedy. Using comedy and irreverence Bass and Berky dig at the true meaning of Richard III and his drive for power.

Framed as a dialogue between that relentless driver and his complicit passenger, "Richard 3.5" asks how far can you go before there is no hope for redemption? Can corruption be turned around?

King Richard himself sees all people as merely "puppets" in his hands, to be molded as he sees fit. But the puppet, once created, cannot be so easily destroyed. Its spirit, once released, cannot be silenced. "Richard 3.5" blends Shakespeare with a metaphorical staging that unlocks levels of Shakespeare’s meaning through imagery, music, humor and contemporary references.

Berky is one of America’s foremost physical comedians, theater clowns and "new vaudevillians." An Obie Award-winner and Edinburgh "Fringe Fest" winner, Berky has taught clowning at the Dell’Arte school, as well as many other programs and universities. He is also an award-winning playwright. Bass is an award-winning puppeteer and director. Co-founder and artistic director of Sandglass Theater, he has directed, performed and taught internationally for more than 20 years.

Tickets for "Richard 3.5: Light Ruminations on Murder" are $16 ($13 for students and seniors). Call Sandglass Theater for reservations and more information at 802-387-4051, or visit


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