By Kelly Luck

Dr. Scott Cox is a fascinating individual, a Shakespeare scholar, actor since

childhood, and (most germaine to this performance) the founder of the

“Living Shakespeare” theatre program at the Lansing Correctional Facility.

In this show, he talks a little about his life and background, how the program

came about, and how it has changed the people involved in it, including (not

the least) himself. Along the way, he speaks about the bard, and the

tremendous influence he has had on our everyday life.


It really is quite amazing, when you get right down to it, just how much can

be traced back to Shakespeare. He spills forth seemingly dozens of words and

phrases all first coined by the bard, quotes bits of his works that have

seeped into our language and culture so deeply that we don’t even think of

them as his. And, of course, he gives us some of the routines that have passed

into immortality, including the soliloquy from Hamlet because apparently

there’s a law that you have to do that one any time you talk about



Overall, it’s a very entertaining evening. He is a good storyteller, and has

a great sense of humor. The initial conceit, in which he pretends to abandon

the stated program in favor of reading the phone book out loud, does perhaps

go on a bit longer than it ought, but it isn’t too agonizing and does pay

dividends later in the show. An unexpected treat was the reference to the

French playwright Alfred Jarry & his work “Ubu Roi,” neither of which this

reviewer (to her shame) had ever heard of before. But it is Shakespeare,

always Shakespeare, who is the real star of the show. And Dr. Cox’s tales of

the transformative powers of theater are inspiring, and give one hope for a

humanity that may, after all, better itself.

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