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Elitch Theatre's Bilingual Barrio Shakespeare: It's not your mom and pop Shakespeare!

Elitch Theatre's Bilingual Barrio Shakespeare: It's not your mom and pop Shakespeare!
Anthony Camera

Tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m., you can see Mercado's ideals at work when a troupe of high school and college students perform scenes from Shakespeare in Spanish and English during an evening of Bilingual Barrio Shakespeare. Augmented by music from Devotchka's Shawn King and costumes by designer Mona Lucero, it's an opportunity for talented kids to show off what they've got.

"At the beginning," Mercado admits, "it was intimidating for them, so we began by reading Shakespeare in Spanish. For some of them, it was the language they're more familiar with. Understanding Shakespeare in their own language made their appreciation of it more visceral." And the juxtaposition of English and Spanish they use in the scenes, he adds, "resembles the way they speak on day-to-day basis, yet honors Shakespeare's brilliant use of language." Throw in a little hip hop dancing and other personal touches, and Mercado thinks they'll have a show tailor-made to take on the road this fall to area school stages. Win-win. "It's not your mom and pop Shakespeare," he notes.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair to the Elitch Theatre Outdoor Plaza tonight or tomorrow; tickets are $10 in advance through Ticketswest, at King Soopers stores or by calling 866-464-2626, or $15 at the door.

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