Ad Hoc Players presents Tragedy Averted, an exceptionally creative comedic piece written by Alexandra Petri and directed by Joan Cummins. Smart, pithy dialogue combined with a stunningly talented ensemble makes this show, in my opinion, one of the best that this year’s Fringe has to offer.
The plot follows our favorite young heroines from the works of Shakespeare as they experience summer camp together—Anna Burke as the pretentious and preachy Desdemona, Katie Nigsch-Fairfax as her rebellious and witty “frenemy” Cordeila, Megan Graves as the sweet, bookish Ophelia, and Stephanie Lebolt as an obnoxiously perky Juliet. They are overseen by the menacing matron Lady M (a hysterical performance by Ruthie Rado), and gossip about their family and love lives through camp-classics such as canoe races, talent shows, and revealing games of “never-have-I-ever.” Seeing each other’s struggles, the girls find strength and support in their friendships…something that may have saved the original Shakespeare heroines lives.
The casting here is perfect, and the women are absolutely enthralling. Each actor gives a layered performance to their character, and their group chemistry is excellent. Current pop-culture references and jokes that hint at their original Shakespearean script make the writing of this play entertaining and clever. Sharp, funny, and surprisingly touching, Tragedy Averted is a show that any Shakespeare fan cannot miss.
2013 Capital Fringe Show Preview: ‘Tragedy Averted’ by Alexandra Petri.