Simpsons satire a sensation
Jerry Getty is a paragon of theatre excellence. Star of the one-man show MacHomer, currently showing at Magnus Theatre every night until November 9, Getty will wow you, impress you, fill you with nostalgia, and have you rolling in the aisles.
The play is a parody of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, but it’s a parody with a twist: all the personae have been replaced by The Simpsons characters! And another twist: Jerry Getty voices them all! He plays the 50+ Simpsons characters of the play, who mostly appear in cameo, including Homer Simpson as MacHomer, Mr. Burns as King Duncan, and Barney Grumble as MacDuff.
Even through rapid lines of script jumping from one character to the next, Getty was absolutely precise with his role changes. He delivered his Shakespearean English perfectly and hit the tone of MacHomer’s yearnings and disappointments well.
His impressions were stupendous. For someone to be able to do one or two, I can see, but to do all of them is beyond impressive. I could tell exactly who he was voicing, with only one exception: Murderer #3, played Grandpa Abe Simpson. His best were Lady MacHomer, played by Marge Simpson, Banquo, played by Ned Flanders, and cameo characters Lenny and Carl.
The stage was simple in true Shakespearean fashion, featuring only a Simpson television set at center stage, astutely devised by the Magnus Team. The backdrop is a large-size television screen, which runs the unique videographic element of the performance. The whole script of the play is synced up to an audio and videotape, depicting the settings, embossing images of The Simpson cameo characters to help clue you in, and providing sound effects and music. Getty was right on cue through the performance.
Getty was also aided by a superb lighting crew headed by Kirsten Watt. Getty was spotlighted when entering the mind of MacHomer to deliver such lines as “C’mon brain, think of something!”
No credit was given to the original writer of the play from 1995, Rick Miller, which is disappointing because the script is fantastic. A perfect interlacing of unaltered Shakespearean script with digressions into Simpson-speak, and all of the quirks and taglines you know and love.
Rick Miller couldn’t have been the only writer though. Local humour was thrown into the script, with jokes about The Chronicle Journal and MP Bruce Hyer, along with more contemporary jokes about Obama and others. A wide range of other comedic spectacles were portrayed, including Family Guy references, an appearance by actor Sean Connery (also voiced by Getty), and music taken from Les Misérables.
This theatrical experience comes highly recommended, and I applaud the performance of Jerry Getty. A must see!
Tickets from $18 to $47 can be purchased online at www.magnus.on.ca. The show starts at 8 p.m.