Tuesday, March 31, 2009

One Hundred Nights of Bardolotry

In 1990, fired up by an AP Lit class, I attended the Guthrie Theater's day-long bill of history plays: Richard 2, Henry 4, & Henry 5. The day literally changed my life by making me into a regular theatergoer and voracious consumer of Shakespeare. A few weeks ago, I saw Theatre for a New Audience's Hamlet, the hundredth production of Shakespeare that I've attended.

Yes, I've kept count.

Some highlights have been Peter Brook's Hamlet, Propeller's all-male Taming of the Shrew, the Globe's Measure for Measure, the Aquila Theatre's Much Ado, and the Red Bull's Pericles. The lowlight is probably the Central Park Twelfth Night in 2002, starring a dumbstruck Julia Stiles.

I've watched Lear in Japanese and Macbeth in Polish. A college girlfriend & I trekked through a subzero winter night to see As You Like It. I traveled to London just to see Michael Gambon play Falstaff. I've seen Hamlet deconstructed, reconstructed, cut to 90 minutes & played by a chubby 40-year-old.

Why do I love Shakespeare? What's he doing that I can't get enough of? And where does Shakespeare's dramaturgy end & mine begin? These are some of the questions rattling around my brain, & I'll try to answer in my next few posts.

In the meantime, you can read my review of Hamlet, and also check out a photo spread I produced & wrote for the Off-B'way production of The Toxic Avenger. Happy Passover!

Top pic: Richard 2, Guthrie Theater, 1990
Bottom pic: Hamlet, TFANA, 2009

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey nonny nonny, Hotspur.