Saturday, August 11, 2007

My week with Shakespeare

I've written here previously about Theatre Conspiracy, a local semi-professional acting troup that was recently ousted from their theatrical home of some 12 years. They are scouting around Lee County for a new performance venue but, in the meantime, Will Prather from the Broadway Palm has loaned Conspiracy his black box theatre for two productions this summer.
If you like Shakespeare or slapstick humor, do get yourself over there this weekend or next for The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged. Janice, Jess and I went on Thursday night and the $19 ticket price was worth it just to see these three white bread guys perform Othello as a rap. It's silly and fun and involves a good bit of audience participation. The entire second act is devoted to the bard's most famous play Hamlet. The skill of the three young men who take the roles of all of the characters in the play is especially evident in this set-piece.

I'm listening to a book that also revolves around Shakespeare, in particular, the sonnets. Carol Goodman is the author of The Sonnet Lover, an intriguing tale that involves college politics, art historians, film makers, lovers and suicide. Juicy enough to get your interest?
Those of you who know me understand my interest in all things Italian, so it doesn't hurt that the action in this book is taking place at the college's villa in the hills outside Florence. One of the primary characters, Dr. Rose Asher, is returning to La Civetta where, as a student 20 years ago, she had an affair with her married professore. Now she's there as an expert on Renaissance poetry, consulting on a film script written by one of her students. The film revolves around the identity of Shakespeare's "dark lady" and some missing sonnets. No, it's not rocket science but it's great fun!

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