Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shakespeare notebook: News

Alex Timbers has a fine head of hair.
So does Isaac Butler (not pictured),
& I envy them both.
An old-fashioned web-log today!

Isaac Butler, usually of Parabasis, offers his response on Slate to Alyssa Rosenberg's numbskulled analysis of Romeo & Juliet. Not only does he pull a block quote to show how great even the minor role of Juliet's father is, he makes a broad point about theater:
The actors are, as Rosenberg notes, too old for their roles by at least a decade, but the stage—which requires more engagement of our imaginations than either film or television and lacks close-ups—often cons audiences into leaving their incredulousness at the coat check.

Update: Arch-troll, the Hooded Utilitarian, also responds to Rosenberg in the Atlantic. He makes some good points, though I'd say he's hampered by taking R&J as a text to read rather than to see. But that's an old argument among Shakespeareans.

Also in R&J news, an adaptation called The Last Goodbye will be remounted at the Old Globe in San Diego this fall. The work adapts Shakespeare's story and tricks it out with music by the late Jeff Buckley, a 1990s wunderkind who you might like. Goodbye's directed by Alex Timbers, who'll also be adapting Love's Labor's Lost at the Delacorte this summer. He and collaborator Michael Kimmel premiered Goodbye at Williamstown a few summers ago to sold-out houses.

Speaking of the Delacorte, it'll host a Tempest in the late summer to inaugurate the Public Works Initiative. Lear deBessonet (Good Person of Szechuan) & Ted Almond will create a musical version that casts citizen actors as well as pros. According to the release:
The production is inspired by a 1916 event at City College, which featured professional actors working with 1,500 city residents who united for an adaptation of The Tempest, billed as Caliban by the Yellow Sands.
That City College production sounds interesting! I'll have to look into it.

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