Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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A Must-See Event!
Rick Miller Performs 50 Characters From ‘The Simpsons’

2009 August 28
Rick Miller

Rick Miller

You may not have heard of, “MacHomer” or its creator, but you probably will one day. One of the greatest entertainers of our day, Rick Miller, performs his own twisted, truncated version of “Macbeth,” incorporating 50 characters of Matt Groening’s “The Simpsons,” as well as Sean Connery, O.J. Simpson, and well-known cartoon characters.

Although I couldn’t understand what the play was about, even with the synopsis in the program, I can tell you this: Rick Miller is the most talented, entertaining performer I’ve ever seen. When he becomes a character, it’s as if instantaneously its spirit jumps inside him and erupts from his face, body, and voice. While I’ve seen live performances from the best in my lifetime from the likes of Lily Tomlin, Whoopie Goldberg, Dick Van Dyke, to my all-time favorite, Sid Caesar, Rick Miller has bested them all.

Dressed in a kilt, long sleeve top, vest, waist purse, and army boots, he performs the script he wrote, based upon Shakespeare’s Macbeth and popular TV characters, mainly those from “The Simpsons.” A nearly bare stage features only a TV console from the ‘50s, which doubles as a cauldron, a prop he uses when he’s playing one of three witches.

“Macbeth” and “MacHomer” both begin with the appearance of three witches. In “Macbeth,” the characters Macbeth and Banquo have defeated two separate invading armies—one led by the rebel Macdonald, and they encounter the witches as they cross a moor. In “MacHomer,” MacHomer and Banquo run into the three witches, who declare that MacHomer will soon become king.

Instead of a Shakespeare “play-within-a-play,” “MacHomer” brings viewers a genius-within-a-genius: Miller doing Shakespeare. This younger genius, like Shakespeare before him, brings comedy and irony to his script. While embodying the physicality of nearly 80 characters during the entire show, Miller’s acting and singing are superb.

For an encore, Miller performs Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the style of 25 characters, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Barry White, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and Neil Diamond.

Miller has hosted ABC’s primetime series “Just for Laughs,” and has performed on stage in five languages on five continents. He is the creator of “MacHomer,” and co-creator of “Bigger Than Jesus,” “Hardsell,” and “Lipsynch,” all touring internationally. He also created and performed the solo shows “Art?” and “Slightly Bent,” which features 150 characters in 65 minutes.

Miller, who now lives in Toronto, holds a master’s degree in architecture. (He created the artwork of all the characters shown on the screen as he performs.) He studied acting and singing in college in his hometown of Montreal. He has performed in five separate Shakespeare productions and began working on “MacHomer” when he had a bit part in one of them. “MacHomer” continues each evening through Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Georgia Shakespeare.
Click Here to See MacHomer Video

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