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Thread: The Bill Shakespeare Thread

  1. #26

  2. #27
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    That assy, assy Ira Glass.

  3. #28
    i am the great went ledfloyd's Avatar
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    Haha, I actually am a devoted fan of This American Life, but yeah, he's just plain wrong on this one.

  4. #29
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    A careful reading of The Merry Wives of Windsor shows that it is a slight, silly, tossed-off sort of play, and yet still manages to be hilarious. Look: Shakespeare can do comedy even when he isn't trying.

    In my head, I have cast Miranda Hart as Mistress Ford and Lucy Punch as Mistress Page, and that might be why I keep cracking up while reading. They would be hysterical.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  5. #30
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    I must be in a mood, because my study of Twelfth Night has involved a lot of coming up with silly interpretations of lines.

    "You are sick of self-love, Malvolio." = "You spend too much time playing with yourself."

    "'Tis not that time of moon with me to make one in so skipping a dialogue." - "Stop talking; I'm on my period."
    ...and the milk's in me.

  6. #31
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Yeah okay so my book o' Shakespeare is arguing in the introduction to the play Measure for Measure that Angelo is the protagonist, which I think is hooey. I think Isabel is the protagonist. An online search shows that most people think either Isabel is the protagonist, or else Duke Vicentio, which is super-hooey and I reject it outright. At least Angelo has a confirmed goal about which he is passionate, Vicentio just kind of hangs out and manipulates people for fun. But it's Isabel, right?

    Also, it would be fun to write up an analysis of this play as an argument against mandatory minimums.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  7. #32
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Updating:

    I have seen live:
    The Tempest (x2)
    The Two Gentlemen of Verona (x2, neither good)
    The Merry Wives of Windsor
    Measure for Measure (x3, somehow)
    Much Ado About Nothing (x3? 4?)
    Midsummer Night's Dream (x5??? or something)
    The Merchant of Venice
    As You Like It (x2)
    The Taming of the Shrew
    All's Well that Ends Well
    Twelfth Night (x3?)
    Romeo and Juliet (x3?)
    Julius Caesar (x2)
    Macbeth (x3)
    Hamlet (x3???)
    King Lear (x2, once brilliant and life-changing, once crap and angry-making)
    Othello
    Cymbeline (x2)
    The Winter's Tale
    Henry IV, Part 1
    Henry IV, Part 2
    Coriolanus
    Antony and Cleopatra
    Richard II
    The Comedy of Errors

    I haven't seen live (bolded if I've never read it or seen a film version:)
    Love's Labour Lost
    Pericles: should be seeing this fall
    The Two Noble Kinsman
    King John
    Henry VIII
    Troilus and Cressida
    Titus Andronicus
    : should be seeing this fall
    Timon of Athens
    The Taming of the Shrew: should be seeing next spring
    Richard III
    Henry VI, Part 1
    Henry VI, Part 2
    Henry VI, Part 3

    The production of Richard II I saw was really good, and Comedy of Errors was... fine. I really think it needs to be a film, actually. It's one of the few that would work better as a film.

    I'm starting to get down to the plays that are hard to see, except Richard III where I just have awful luck. I might have to go out of my way to see the rest of them. Take a trip. If any of you hear of good professional productions of these, let me know.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  8. #33
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Updating again, since next years' seasons are coming out:

    I have seen live:
    The Tempest (x2)
    The Two Gentlemen of Verona (x2, neither good)
    The Merry Wives of Windsor
    Measure for Measure (x3, somehow)
    Much Ado About Nothing (x3? 4?)
    Midsummer Night's Dream (x5??? or something)
    The Merchant of Venice
    As You Like It (x2)
    The Taming of the Shrew
    All's Well that Ends Well
    Twelfth Night (x3?)
    Romeo and Juliet (x3?)
    Julius Caesar (x2)
    Macbeth (x3)
    Hamlet (x3???)
    King Lear (x2, once brilliant and life-changing, once crap and angry-making)
    Othello
    Cymbeline (x2)
    The Winter's Tale
    Henry IV, Part 1
    Henry IV, Part 2
    Coriolanus
    Antony and Cleopatra
    Richard II
    The Comedy of Errors
    Pericles
    Titus Andronicus

    Set to see:
    Love's Labour Lost? It's being performed in Pennsylvania this summer.
    Timon of Athens: YESSSSSS. This is Oregon Shakespeare Company and I will be in Oregon for a family reunion this summer. Already bought my ticket. (To the play. Haven't even though about plane tickets yet.)
    The Taming of the Shrew: in a few months.

    That leaves these problem children:

    I haven't seen live (bolded if I've never read it or seen a film version:)
    The Two Noble Kinsmen
    King John
    Henry VIII
    Troilus and Cressida
    Richard III
    Henry VI, Part 1
    Henry VI, Part 2
    Henry VI, Part 3

    Pericles was astonishingly good. It was a tour of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which is some high-quality stuff, and they really know how to bring out the best in a middling-quality play. I laughed; I cried: A+

    Titus Andronicus was a mess, though. What a nasty little play.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  9. #34
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    The Two Gentlemen of Verona (x2, neither good)
    That play just sucks. I think it would be really hard to make it good.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  10. #35
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Spinal (view post)
    That play just sucks. I think it would be really hard to make it good.
    Okay... not to out myself as an obsessive or anything...

    For a personal project of my own I ended up reading/studying/listening to this play over and over and over again over the last year. I can now recite huge chunks by memory. I've probably read it 30-40 times total. As with anything consumed that many times, I've cycled through how I feel about it. My initial impression-- that it sucks-- has been tempered a little bit.

    The truth is, there is a really great play in there somewhere. There are some really funny, clever scenes. Some of the language is gorgeous. The two female characters are a) distinguishable from each other, b) well-written, and c) both really impressive people in their own way. The play chews on issues of love, sexuality, gender politics, and loyalty that Shakespeare will be revisiting for his entire canon. (It goes back and back again to the idea of "constancy"-- that loving someone no matter what, despite changing circumstances or uncovered flaws is the greatest and highest ideal of love. I'm not convinced it's a great idea, but Shakespeare LOVED IT.)

    But holy hot damn the play has problems. The two male leads are both abhorrent people: Proteus in an obvious way and Valentine in a less-obvious way. They both behave abominably and they are both forgiven with a wink and a shrug. The ending is stupid. Shakespeare takes one of his flights of fancy in the middle, where a play without magic or fantasy suddenly veers off into a really weird circumstantial plot point, but this time involving a roving gang of pirates and thieves in the woods.

    I have this intense desire to, like... fix the play. There's something there. It just needs to be fixed.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  11. #36
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Yes, well put. It's an early play that can perhaps be seen as a stepping stone to better things. It still gets produced today because people want to mark it off their Shakespeare checklist, but boy, I never want to see it again, that's for sure.
    Coming to America (Landis, 1988) **
    The Beach Bum (Korine, 2019) *1/2
    Us (Peele, 2019) ***1/2
    Fugue (Smoczynska, 2018) ***1/2
    Prisoners (Villeneuve, 2013) ***1/2
    Shadow (Zhang, 2018) ***
    Oslo, August 31st (J. Trier, 2011) ****
    Climax (Noé, 2018) **1/2
    Fighting With My Family (Merchant, 2019) **
    Upstream Color (Carruth, 2013) ***

  12. #37
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Seeing Taming of the Shrew this evening, by the Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC which tends to be excellent. It's an all-male production, which... I dunno. We'll see. I'd rather go all-female or gender-swapped if they want to play with that.

    Katherine is played by the guy who was Jonathan in 30 Rock, which might work.

    EDIT: Reviews are not good!
    Last edited by Mara; 06-10-2016 at 07:34 PM.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  13. #38
    Good-bye, Match Cut
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    A friend of mine played Julius Caesar in an all-female production last year and I'm so sad I missed it.

  14. #39
    Crying Enthusiast Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Sycophant (view post)
    A friend of mine played Julius Caesar in an all-female production last year and I'm so sad I missed it.
    A sister of mine was Brutus and was aMAZing.

  15. #40
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Mara (view post)
    EDIT: Reviews are not good!
    I'm actually glad I read the reviews beforehand as they helped me prepare for my disappointment. This was ill-conceived to a baffling degree. There was obviously talent involved both on and off stage, but the weird, off-putting elements torpedoed the production. Having an all-male cast neither added nor detracted from the play; it just happened with no further thought or intention.

    I don't want to point out every little failure in the production, but the worst choice was to add a great deal of music to the show. The music wasn't good, wasn't appropriate to the situation, added nothing but length (the damn thing was over three hours long) and was performed by actors of indifferent musical skill. In the program the director said that he added the music to give insight into what the characters were thinking during certain scenes. I read that and I thought, Oh, I found the problem. You, the director, don't know what these characters are thinking. That explains a lot.

    It explains why there wasn't any emotional continuity. It explains why the actors looked lost half the time. It would explain why the final scene is played as excruciating self-abasement but behaved like a triumph.

    It was a mess, is what I am saying.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  16. #41
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Of all the Shakespeare plays to perform with all men, that seems a particularly odd choice.

  17. #42
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    Of all the Shakespeare plays to perform with all men, that seems a particularly odd choice.
    RIGHT?
    ...and the milk's in me.

  18. #43
    Quote Quoting Winston* (view post)
    Of all the Shakespeare plays to perform with all men, that seems a particularly odd choice.
    Well, you couldn't make the case that any Shakespeare play could be performed with an all-male cast since that's how they did back in the day?
    Just because...
    Les Deux Anglaises et le Continent (François Truffaut, 1971) mild
    Pain and Glory (Pedro Almódovar, 2019) warm
    Street Angel (Yuan Muzhi, 1937) warm

    The last book I read was...
    Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield


    The (New) World

  19. #44
    Winston* Classic Winston*'s Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Well, you couldn't make the case that any Shakespeare play could be performed with an all-male cast since that's how they did back in the day?
    I guess. But performing a 16th century sexist play in a 16th century sexist way doesn't seem especially worthwhile to me.

  20. #45
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting baby doll (view post)
    Well, you couldn't make the case that any Shakespeare play could be performed with an all-male cast since that's how they did back in the day?
    They all could, but it's a question of why. If you're going for Shakespearean authenticity there are a lot of elements you could choose to incorporate.

    Taming of the Shrew is the Shakespeare play most merciless to women. Any modern production needs to figure out how to address that. And in my opinion, the laziest way to address it is to remove the women altogether.
    ...and the milk's in me.

  21. #46
    I'm in the milk... Mara's Avatar
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    UGH I WANT TO SEE THIS ALL-FEMALE PRODUCTION SO BADLY

    http://publictheater.org/Tickets/Cal...pot&play=shrew

    It's free tickets but require waiting in line, so I'd have to go all the way to NYC without knowing if I could actually see it or not... What a total bummer. I adore Donna Lynne Champlin, too. I WANNA GO

    http://themuse.jezebel.com/the-tamin...ews-1782034867
    ...and the milk's in me.

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