Celebrities and the "25 most annoying voices in the music industry" provide extra laughs in MacHomer

October 16, 2009

Macbeth meets Simpson in a one-man show

By Toby Zinman

For The Inquirer

Fri, Oct. 16, 2009

The wildly talented Rick Miller, the man of a million voices, wrote my review for me. Near the end of his 70-minute show MacHomer, his bizarre take on Shakespeare's Macbeth combined with The Simpsons, Homer, also known as the bloodthirsty, doughnut-hungry MacHomer, pretends to read a review about himself from a newspaper: " 'a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.' The Inquirer. Stupid rag."

All this show at the Annenberg Center signifies is the fun of watching an actor play all the roles in Macbeth, from witches to king and queen (he is especially good as Marge, also known as Lady M), down to every bit player he can find in the text. Wearing a kilt and scuffed combat boots with gym socks, with a shirt not quite covering his hairy middle, Miller can switch voices on a dime - line after line after line, more than 50 characters in all.

And famous real people make cameo appearances as well: Sean Connery, Arnold Schwarzenegger, O.J. Simpson, and George W. Bush. He can do Scottish accents and Indian accents and Yiddish accents besides all the Simpsons voices. Matt Groening drops in, as "a stupid, self-referential diversion." It's endless. Hardy har har.

He condenses and reinterprets Macbeth (with brief excursions into King Lear), using mostly Shakespeare's lines with additions such as "Fleance is fled. Oh, man, we lost the little dude." The famous knocking-at-the-gate scene becomes a knock-knock joke. (Or, as the porter remarks, "Comic relief, my ass.")

And if that isn't enough, he wraps the evening up with a completely gratuitous and hilarious medley of the "25 most annoying voices in the music industry," imitating the sound and style of everybody from Bob Dylan to Bono to Eminem to Meat Loaf to Elvis Costello to Johnny Cash.

Judging by the audience reaction, this is not a fall-out-of-your-chair-laughing show; instead everybody seemed to be amazed as well as amused. As the man said, hardy har har.