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The Bard’s the thing: A show about Shakespeare

An open book with a William Shakespeare portrait.
Andrew Howe

Shakespeare, it turns out, is not immune to the culture wars, the book banning, the cancel culture (despite his being dead for more than four centuries). So, fine. Cancel Shakespeare, then, one argument goes. Because here’s the thing: Shakespeare’s plays and poems ARE dirty and smutty and gory — and that’s a big part of what makes them so great.

And: Earlier this year, the romantic comedy Anyone But You became the highest-grossing live-action Shakespeare adaptation ever made. So we look at Shakespeare as fertile rom-com IP, from 10 Things I Hate About You and beyond.

And finally, Bardcore is a thing. The one and only Hildegard von Blingin’ joins us.


  • Maureen Lee Lenker: A senior writer at Entertainment Weekly and the author of the novel It Happened One Fight
  • Drew Lichtenberg: Associate director at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC
  • Hildegard von Blingin’: A singer and illustrator

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Colin McEnroe, Meg Dalton, Cat Pastor, and Lily Tyson contributed to this show.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.