Theatre Review: Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One….


Note: This review was posted on the KC Stage review system.

“Jesus, Shakespeare, and Lincoln Walk Into a Bar”, written and directed by Kristopher Owens. Produced by Giants of Theatre (part of the KC Fringe Festival). First produced 2011. (Seen July 26, 2011.)

Where do I begin? This show grabbed me by the title alone, as it sounded like a fun show that would be full of highbrow humor done in a lowbrow way, or vice versa. The description states, “let’s just say hilarity ensues” — I only wish that was the case.

Filled with dated political humor and bad gay jokes (and even a ‘that’s what she said’ joke), the piece is slow and choppy, with bad karaoke (and not even ‘so bad it’s good’ karaoke) and the less said about the film that ends it, the better.

The eponymous Shakespeare, Jesus, and Lincoln. Photo by Rich Sutton.

Kristopher Owens, who also wrote and directed it, was the only actor that seemed to know what he was doing, and by casting himself as the bartender, he was barely on stage to make any of it worth it. Carlos Portillo as Jesus mumbles most of his lines, while Eric Brockett as Shakespeare is way too aware of the audience (although that was an issue with all the actors). Meanwhile, Tony Thongphay as Buddha does the best he can with his character, and Keegan Lampert is a walking stereotype as the apparently gay Lincoln (although his outfit is priceless).

This show needs a serious rewrite and a recasting, and the video as a whole should probably be cut, as it doesn’t really add anything to the show outside of fart jokes and toilet (literally) humor. I’m stopping you before you hear this one.

“Jesus, Shakespeare, and Lincoln Walk Into a Bar” plays one more time at the Fringe, and tickets are $10. For more information, visit the KC Fringe Festival website.

Read all of my Fringe reviews here


  • thanks for coming to the show. i think reviews are always funny because it’s totally subjective. i usually wouldn’t respond to one because i don’t care enough.

    i think it’s sad that we we’re even reviewing fringe shows to begin with. i think it is the opposite of everything a fringe is about. it’s too bad you didn’t like the show and the larger point of the show. i know lots of people who do like the show. i make no apologies for our show, and encourage others to come see the show for themselves.

    -kris owens

    • Thanks for your comment, Kris.

      KC Stage has always felt that the purpose of our reviewing system is partially peer review (theatre people reviewing theatre people) as well as encouraging thoughts from the audience – no different than the reviews you see on IMDB (which is what our website was loosely based on when it first started), Netflix, or even social networking platforms. After all, you are asking people to spend money and time for your show – an audience member has the right to tell others whether he or she liked it and why, regardless of whether it’s a Fringe show.

      As for my review, yes, it is subjective – and as I wrote in my review of the Holy Cow! Improv group’s performance, one person can find something hilarous that I personally didn’t care for. That’s the point: it’s my thoughts, and whether someone wants to listen to what I have to say is up to them.

      Thanks again for your comment.

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