Hamlet / “The Deal”

The actors re-enact the famous play-within-a-play scene. Hamlet watches the King’s reaction, desperate to see whether Claudius killed his father.

HAMLET: What was that look?

CLAUDIUS: What look? I gave a look?

HAMLET: I know that look. That’s the look of a man who recognizes his wrongdoings dramatized onstage.

CLAUDIUS: So you’re the big look expert all of a sudden, huh?

HAMLET: Trust me, I know the look. You got something on your mind?

CLAUDIUS: No! Things pop into your head…

HAMLET: Murder?

CLAUDIUS: No! Murder doesn’t pop!

HAMLET: Murder pops all right!

- - -

The Merchant of Venice / “The Trial”

In Venice, Shylock has taken Antonio to court for defaulting on his loan.

SHYLOCK: A deal is a deal, and I will not rest until I get my pound of flesh!

ANTONIO: Shouldn’t you be trying to lose a pound of flesh?

SHYLOCK: Funny, Antonio. I want my pound!

PORTIA: Fine, but you must cut precisely one pound of flesh—no more, no less.

SHYLOCK: How precise are we talking here? Because where I come from, we use grain to measure weights. I can be off a few barley, right? I get some leeway?

ANTONIO: Now he’s asking for leeway.

PORTIA: No barley-way for you. What scales give leeway?

SHYLOCK: Grain scales! Oh, curse you, Portia!

In the courtroom, a rapt, happy Newman snacks on popcorn.

- - -

Pericles, Prince of Tyre / “The Marine Biologist”

Lord Cerimon walks with Diane, wooing her with tall tales that he’s a physician to hide the fact that he’s unemployed. They encounter a group of onlookers staring worriedly out into the ocean.

DIANE: What’s going on here?

FIRST WOMAN: There’s a beached casket containing the body of Thaisa. She’s dying!

FIRST GENTLEMAN: Oy! Is anyone here a marine-based physiologist?

Lord Cerimon looks down in shame.

DIANE: Lord Cerimon? Didn’t you tell me you were a marine-based physiologist?


DIANE: Yes, you’ve pretty much talked about it on our entire seaside walk. Please, save her. For me.

LORD CERIMON: Fine. I’ll “physician” the woman.

DIANE: “You’ll treat her,” you mean.

LORD CERIMON: Sure. Whatever!

Lord Cerimon tosses his hat aside and walks into the water.

- - -

Macbeth / “The Contest”

Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, and Banquo feast at a banquet.

MACBETH: Everyone still the Master of their Domain?

BANQUO: Yep, I’m still Lord of the Castle.

LADY MACBETH: And I am still Queen of the Castle.

The ghost of King Duncan, murdered in his sleep by Macbeth, appears. Macbeth shrieks.

GHOST OF KING DUNCAN: Even though I’m dead, I’m still gonna last longer than you, Macbeth! I’m still King of the County!

The Ghost of King Duncan eyes a fair maiden leaving the room. He gets an idea and floats into another room.

LADY MACBETH: You’re looking pale, Macbeth. Maybe you should, ya know, go die.

Lady Macbeth winks at her husband and makes a suggestive ‘click-click’ sound.

MACBETH: No, I’m not quitting that easily. I don’t need to die in any lap, mine or otherwise. No, my ambition is too great. Soon, I shall be King of all the Counties!

BANQUO: Kings don’t reign forever, Lords last you know!

MACBETH: I’m not worried, I’ll last longer than any lord or queen. Definitely longer than the last king, I’ll tell you that much!

The Ghost of King Duncan floats back into the room much more relaxed than before and slams down one hundred dollars on the table.


- - -

Much Ado About Nothing / “The Raincoats”

At their wedding, Claudio stuns every guest by denouncing his fiancée, Hero, at the altar.

CLAUDIO: Enough lies! Don John has revealed your disloyalty. I will not marry you.

HERO: Don John? But he’s villainous!—

Meanwhile, in the stands, Benedick and Beatrice make out. The guests can’t believe they’d be making out during such an eventful scene. One of the guests, Don Pedro, pipes up.

DON PEDRO: Really, Benedick? You’re making out with your buxom broad during a failed wedding?! You’re moving on her like the Spartan Warriors into Athens!

BENEDICK: Shut up, Don Pedro.

Benedick’s parents show up and are very disappointed in their son.

- - -

Romeo and Juliet / “The Soup Nazi”

Romeo and Mercutio wait in line in a Verona alley.

ROMEO: Now, Mercutio, remember what I said: he’s very peculiar about his wares.

MERCUTIO: I’m aware. He’s wary of selling his wares.


Romeo and Mercutio enter the Apothecary’s store. Mercutio steps up to the counter.

MERCUTIO: Medium coma-potion.

Mercutio pays the assistant but notices his order is missing something.

MERCUTIO: Uh, excuse me… but where is the dram of poison?

ROMEO: Leave it, Mercutio.

APOTHECARY: You want such mortal drugs, little man?

MERCUTIO: I would very much like it, please.


MERCUTIO: One hundred ducats? For a dram?


The Apothecary’s assistant quickly returns Mercutio his coins and snatches the bag back.

MERCUTIO: Big whoop. Romeo, let’s get out of here.

The Apothecary glares at Romeo, his eyes telling him to wisely choose his next words.

ROMEO: Do I know you?

MERCUTIO: So that’s how it is? Fine, a plague upon both your houses!