Arts Listings

‘Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits’

By Ken Bullock, Special to the Planet
Friday September 28, 2007

Subterranean Shakespeare’s CD, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits (“Two years in the making!”) is something of an instant Berkeley minor classic, what with Michael Rossman (he of the Free Speech Movement) belting out “The Ballad of Tom O’Bedlam” (which Robert Graves and Edith Sitwell both credited to the Bard) or tootling flute on other numbers with The Rude Mechanicals, or funnyman Ed Holmes and poet G. P. Skratz doing up the Scottish Weird Sisters’ “Double, double, toil and trouble” with Andy Dinsmore as World Music. This 17-track wonder features a plethora of local names that have—and haven’t—trod the boards Bardic, in every musical style and sundry. And this coming Monday, Oct. 1, there’ll be a CD release party, 8 p.m. at the Berkeley Unitarian Fellowship Hall, Cedar and Bonita streets. Rossman will croon, Bob Ernst will wail on mouth harp, Tom Waits’ sidekick Mark Growden and his band rave up Will, Michael Peppe do the 129th Sonnet as Wm. Shatner, Ed Holmes get witchy. 

The CD itself has much to recommend it, including bites of Orson Welles, Otis Skinner, Gielgud, Sybil Thorndike and Paul Robeson declaiming, to music, as a holiday gift or party background sound. $10 (276-3871 or (ex-Punk producer Geoffrey Pond, artistic director).