Bard Simpson

"I was playing 'Murderer Number Two' in a production of Macbeth in Montreal in 1992," says Toronto's Rick Miller, "and I had a little too much time on my hands." Between slayings, he worked out a skit that combined the words of William Shakespeare with spot-on impressions of characters from The Simpsons, and his fellow actors loved it. Still, he never imagined that this "cast-party joke," as Miller calls it, would evolve into MacHomer, a multimedia extravaganza that stops in Denver tonight. "I never set out to be an impersonator," he maintains, "but I ended up becoming one."

And how. Miller imitates as many as 55 Simpsons voices, ranging from the prominent (Homer, Bart) to the obscure (Lionel Hutz, Arnie Pie). He also employs oversized projections of the figures he's aping — an approach that might have landed him in legal jeopardy had he not received the blessing of Simpsons creator Matt Groening. "He shook my hand and said, 'I'll make sure you can keep doing what you're doing,'" Miller notes. Apparently, Groening doesn't mind that Miller's making "D'oh!" with help from his inventions — and Shakespeare's.

The curtain opens on MacHomer at 8:30 p.m. at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. Tickets, $25 to $55, are available at 303-357-2787 or
Wed., May 17, 8:30 p.m.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts