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comment by humanodon
humanodon  ·  2110 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Lil's Book of Questions: Whither Shakespeare?

I actually haven't seen many. Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing are the only ones I've seen, I think. I guess I always just assumed that I would happen into Shakespeare without having to try, but evidently that isn't so. Hell, I used to work at a theater attached to school known for its strong theater program, but the only things I ended up seeing through that were some operas, which provided some interesting dreams.

Anyway, let me ask a counter question: what play would you personally recommend to get someone hooked on Shakespeare?




flagamuffin  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Seen or read or both? Read them all. The phrases are exquisite.

Last summer I saw a performance of Othello front row at the British National -- I've never seen anything so good. I would think, if you can find a quality troupe, that watching Othello is probably the closest you'll get to perfect theater.

Interesting that everyone below mentions movies ... I disagree. There's never been a Shakespearean movie that compared to watching it live in my opinion.

humanodon  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The ones I mentioned I have both seen and read. I have also read Othello and The Tempest and parts of several others (generally soliloquies).

    Interesting that everyone below mentions movies ... I disagree. There's never been a Shakespearean movie that compared to watching it live in my opinion.

I really get the sense that the audience is supposed to be very present for these plays, which makes sense as that was the norm for the time.

lil  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Rico - I can't stop thinking about Shakespeare. When I think of five more Shakespeare stories, another ten come to mind. If it's done well - if as flagamuffin says you have Beatrice sitting in your lap - you will be hooked.

When I think of a play to get you hooked, I think of specific performances

Al Pacino as Shylook in The Merchant of Venice

Kevin Spacey as Richard III - although Richard III is hard to follow.

I love your question and will think more on't...

thenewgreen  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No mention of Kenneth Branagh? I recall enjoying his adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing. I took a Shakespeare course at a community college years ago and we read and then watched that. I recall a sweeping, overhead long camera shot at the beginning that was quite impressive. Worth checking out.

Of the written works, Caesar is still a favorite and if it weren't so "played" out, Romeo and Juliet is kick ass. So much great work.

b_b  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Al Pacino as Richard III is better than either of those, IMO.

lil  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, I saw that too. Fantastic. Did you see Pacino's movie Looking for Richard which is about understanding Richard III - making it, feeling it and it has Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey. humanodon as I said, I'll get back to you, but today I'm off to the Met Live in HD. Verdi's opera Falstaff is playing, merely Shakespeare in a different format. It's actually The Merry Wives of Windsor -- no one's favourite play. Let's see what Verdi does with it.

As for the question

    What play would you personally recommend to get someone hooked on Shakespeare?
-- here's a quick comment: I was hooked on The Met: Live in HD after seeing Mozart's The Magic Flute a few years ago -- one of the earliest Met productions that was sent streaming around the world.

I never became hooked on Shakespeare in quite the same way. I've grown up with Shakespeare, as I'm trying to show in my posts -- Shakespeare is all around us. See any production and you will recognize quotations that are in our everyday speech. For example, at my recent Midsummer Night's Dream, I heard this oft-quoted, but unattributed line: "The course of true love never did run smooth."

The stories and characters and plots are as integrated into western culture as Biblical stories, but without the didacticism (lessons) and morality.

b_b  ·  2109 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yes, that clip is from Looking for Richard. It's a great movie, especially for people like me who aren't that educated about Shakespeare or theater in general. It's really amazing to see all the planning, and dissecting of the script that takes place. I might like that aspect more than the actual performances.