On its 10th anniversary tour, Rick Miller's “MacHomer” is no longer the hot ticket it once was.
Mostly it's due to the source material. Fox's long-running animated television series “The Simpsons” — the character voices of which Miller uses to deliver a hilarious one-man version of Shakespeare's “Macbeth” — is no longer top dog, having been supplanted by sharper-edged satirical 'toons such as “Family Guy.”
“The Simpsons don't hold the same place in pop culture they did seven years ago,” Miller concedes.
Likewise, there's a bumper crop of newer one-man novelty shows with bigger buzz. The new reigning king is Charles Ross, whose “One Man ‘Star Wars' Trilogy” and “One Man ‘Lord of the Rings' ” are the latest stage sensations.
Of course, Miller thinks there's a higher art to what he does, fusing spot-on impersonations of the Simpsons family — Homer, Marge, Bart, et al — and the rest of the wacky, yellow-hued residents of Springfield onto Shakespeare's tale of malicious murder and kingly aspirations.
“The problem is that it's creatively less interesting to just do something that's pop culture,” the classically trained Canadian actor says. “This is bringing Shakespeare to the level of pop culture, which he was back in his time.”
Not that Miller, who brought “MacHomer” to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts in February 2003 to warm reviews, wants Mesa audiences coming to his show with highbrow aspirations: It's still based on the flat-out silly premise that doughnut-snarfing Homer and company have been cast in Shakespeare's tragedy. (“Is this a dagger which I see before me ... or a pizza?” MacHomer says. “Mmm, pizza.”)
“As much as I've tinkered with it,” Miller says, “I've still stuck to that joke.”
>>“MacHomer” runs 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, through Feb. 24 and 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25-26
at the Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. $27-$35. (480) 644-6500 or mesaartscenter.com.