Shakespeare at the Movies- Spy

The latest film from Paul Feig, Spy, is a comedy that is certainly going to help us kick off the sumer with a good laugh! This hilarious cast has appeared in several stage and screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, and not just the comedies! Let’s see who has been involved with The Bard before:


Jude Law (Bradley Fine)

Appeared in:

  • Henry V (Noël Coward Theatre, 2013) as Henry V
  • Hamlet (Wyndham’s Theatre, 2009) as Hamlet
  • Pericles (Royal National Theatre, 1994)


Raad Rawi (Tihomir Boyanov)

Appeared in:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (Playhouse Theatre, 1998)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Royal Shakespeare Company tour, 1988) as Theseus/Oberon


Rose Byrne (Rayna Boyanov)

Appeared in:

  • Wicker Park (2004) as Alex

*This movie is inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream!


Jason Statham (Rick Ford)

Appeared in:

  • Gnomeo and Juliet (2011) as Tybalt

Did I miss someone? Leave a comment and let me know!

LAST CHANCE to see “Much Ado About Nothing” at Tarragon Theatre!

There is just over one week left to catch Tarragon Theatre’s latest production of Much Ado About Nothing!

Much Ado About Nothing, Tarragon Theatre (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Much Ado About Nothing, Tarragon Theatre (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Beatrice and Benedict take on Brampton in this Bollywood-inspired adaptation of Shakespeare’s most clever comedy. Moving from comedy to tragedy and back again with razor sharp wit, a familiar story takes on new meaning when set in our own backyard. Classical text fuses with Bollywood in this larger-than-life spectacle.

Running at Tarragon Theatre in the Mainspace until May 31, there are only a few opportunities left to catch this amazing production!

Visit or call 416-531-1827 to purchase your tickets today!

Shakespeare and The Simpsons

The Simpsons is satire of contemporary culture, therefore pop culture references are a huge part of the show. Shakespeare references are used on The Simpsons a lot (no wonder OJ Villacorta called The Simpsons Shakespeare remixes “Shakespeare for a younger generation”!) The Simpsons has continuously done Shakespeare remixes and includes multiple subtle references to Shakespeare’s plays. Below is a list of some Shakespeare references on The Simpsons.

1. The Episode Titles
Some of The Simpsons episode titles have names that reference Shakespeare’s plays, but aren’t the same storyline. Here are two episode titles I found that are clever spins on the titles of Shakespeare’s plays: Much Apu About Nothing (a take on Much Ado About Nothing) and Midsummer Nice Dream (a take on Midsummer Night’s Dream).

2. The “Do The Bard Man” segment from “Tales From The Public Domain”: The Simpsons version of Hamlet
This is considered to be one of the most well known and least subtle references to a Shakespeare play, because it’s a Simpsons adaptation of Hamlet, where the Simpsons characters play Hamlet characters. Do The Bard Man was what introduced me to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and I consider it to be the most effective reference to Shakespeare that the Simpsons has ever done, because it’s the perfect combination of Simpsons style humor, direct quotations from the original play, and Hamlet satire. The key difference between the Simpsons adaptation of Hamlet and the original play is the deaths. Everyone still dies in the end but the causes of death are different than the original play for the sake of making the plot significantly more comedic.

3. The Simpsons version of Macbeth: a segment from “ Four Great Women and A Manicure”
If you haven’t already seen The Simpsons version of Macbeth on the “Four Great Women And A Manicure” episode, the title explains itself. The Macbeth segment starts after an exchange between Lisa and Marge, where they’re bonding and having a manicure, while they talk about great and powerful women of history. Unlike the “Do The Bard Man” segment, it’s not a direct adaptation of a Shakespeare play. The Macbeth segment features all of the Simpsons characters as themselves, experiencing a Shakespearean dilemma.

Simpsons do Macbeth (from S20E20) from Gc Howard on Vimeo.

Here’s a plot summary to explain what I mean when I say it’s a Shakespearean dilemma:  Marge convinces Homer to try out for a Springfield stage adaptation of Macbeth. When he gets a part in the play that’s not the lead role, Marge convinces Homer to kill the actor playing Macbeth. As soon as the news spreads that their lead is dead, Homer is chosen to play Macbeth. When the play is performed in front of an audience for the first time, the critics give Homer’s cast mates better reviews than him. Every time an actor gets all the positive reviews or someone gets in the way of Homer’s path to success, Marge convinces Homer to kill them. This cycle of killing continues until Homer is the only one still alive. The ghosts of the dead Macbeth cast find out that Marge is what caused Homer to kill them and get revenge on her. When she dies, Homer is alone and delivers Macbeth’s famous “tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow” soliloquy to the ghost of his dead wife.

The plot of The Simpsons version of Macbeth is a direct reference to the original play because the circumstance mirrors the plotline of the original. Although the Simpsons characters portray themselves in a contemporary Springfield, the arch of the story is similar. Both Marge and Lady Macbeth are convincing their husbands to kill because they want power, which in The Simpsons power relates to fame and fortune. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, power is being wealthy and a member of the royalty. Both women convince their husbands to kill all who stand in the way of their pursuit of power and face the consequences although in The Simpsons version of <em “mso-bidi-font-style:=”” normal”=””>Macbeth, the consequences are different than the original for the sake of making it comedic.

These are some of the most well known (and easy to spot) references to Shakespeare in The Simpsons although there are several. Next time you watch The Simpsons, look out for the Shakespeare tributes hidden in some of the episodes.

Mean Girls, Shakespeare Style

Today is the tenth anniversary of the iconic teen movie, Mean Girls’ release. In honor of this occasion, my blog post for today covers the similarities between Mean Girls and Julius Caesar. Before I begin my comparison here’s a direct reference to Julius Caesar in the movie to get you in the Mean Girls spirit:

In the Mean Girls segment shown in the video above, Plastics clique member Gretchen’s rant proves the similarity between the plot of Mean Girls and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Her rant is literally a direct response to the original plot of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which is significant because it reflects the power struggles that happen in The Plastics after Cady successfully destroys Regina’s powerful influence on her peers. Gretchen, through pretending to be Brutus is showing that her experiences make her able to identify with the plot of Julius Caesar. She pretends to be Brutus at a point in the movie when Cady successfully turns the Plastics against each other, which leads to the queen bee being kicked out of her own clique, which was the same fate as Caesar.

The leader of The Plastics, Regina George is a lot like Julius Caesar, because they are both tyrants and have a lot of influence and power over their peers. Regina George is correctly labeled “teen royalty” because she is the most popular girl in the school and the queen bee, therefore she’s the ruler of her own “kingdom”, her high school peers. Julius Caesar rules an entire kingdom as well, the kingdom of Rome. Cady is Brutus, because there are similarities between the relationships between Cady and Regina and Brutus and Caesar. Cady becomes friends with Regina and gains her trust. Brutus gains Caesar’s trust in the same way: by becoming his reliable right hand man. This trust leads to the same consequence: Cady and Brutus destroying the tyrant’s influence on their kingdom. There’s only one key difference: Brutus actually kills Caesar and Cady “kills” Regina in a metaphorical way, by making sure she no longer has anything that makes her the powerful queen bee she’s always been.

The turning point in both Mean Girls and Julius Caesar is identical: jealousy over the tyrant’s romantic fling that causes them to have a strong enough level of hatred towards the tyrant to act on their intentions to destroy their influence. In Mean Girls, when Regina is caught actively pursuing the main character Cady’s crush Aaron, which makes her interested in getting revenge on Regina. In Julius Caesar, it’s Caesar’s romantic fling with Cleopatra that makes Brutus jealous enough to kill Caesar.

Because the focus is on backstabbing the tyrant who victimized their subjects in both Mean Girls and Julius Caesar, there’s definitely a Shakespeare influence in Mean Girls. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if one of Tina Fey’s influences was Shakespeare when she wrote the screenplay ten years ago. Happy Mean Girls Anniversary everyone! 

Have any other fetch similarities between Shakespeare plays and Mean Girls to share? Share them in the comments section below!

Dundas West Fest – Saturday, June 8th!

- Inaugural Dundas West Fest - Saturday, June 8, 2013 11am - 10pm Dundas West, between Lansdowne Avenue & Roxton Road

– Inaugural Dundas West Fest –
Saturday, June 8, 2013
11am – 10pm
Dundas West, between Lansdowne Avenue & Roxton Road
To learn more, click here.


It’s all about community!

This Saturday, June 8th marks the inaugural Dundas West Fest – between Lansdowne Avenue & Roxton Road, from 11am to 1pm!  It’s…

…a car-free, participatory, community-inspired celebration of everything local!

There will be…

  • art & art-making
  • bartering
  • buskers
  • comedy
  • dance & dance lessons
  • food
  • kids’ zones
  • literature
  • live music
  • photography
  • shopping

Fun for the whole family – rain or shine!

This event is a collaboration between the Dundas West BIA and Little Portugal BIA, with support from Councillors Bailão (Ward 18) and Layton (Ward 19), and with support from many local organizations and residents.

For more information and a full event schedule, visit the website below!


Website – click here.
Facebook – click here.
Twitter – click here.