Stage Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Toil and Trouble Burlesque

Two nights ago, my wife Lisa and I caught Toil and Trouble Burlesque‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We had an absolute blast.

Now if you look up “burlesque,” you may find something like this: Continue reading “Stage Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Toil and Trouble Burlesque”

Friday Non-Film Focus: The Two Gentlemen of Verona by Independent Shakespeare Company

It’s August and a Friday, which means a new summer blockbuster is being released… but honestly in all the business of the week, I haven’t a clue as to what’s opening…but that doesn’t matter. I’m here to talk about what does: Independent Shakespeare Company’s production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, running through September 3 in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park…for FREE.

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Theater review: Love’s Labor’s Lost by Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival

Last night, Lisa and I caught Love’s Labor’s Lost by Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival at the start of its closing weekend on the campus of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Now, those of you who have been around since (near) the beginning of this project probably know how I feel a out Love’s Labor’s Lost. Not a huge fan (it ranks down in the lower quarter of my favorite plays). People who’ve been around nearly as long also know how I feel about Kingsmen. A big fan.

So which wins out?

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Cymbeline: A daughter by any other name…

There’s a wonderful little theory or legend concerning Cymbeline, and more importantly his daughter.

Innogen.

Yeah, not a typo.

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The Bill / Shakespeare Project Brush with Awesomeness: Patton Oswalt

OK, so a couple of nights back, I had the coolest Shakespeare geek experience…

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Pericles: Back to the Ephesus!

In Pericles, when Thaisa “dies” (or when they think she’s dead, but she’s only “mostly dead”), they put her body in a chest and dump it overboard. It washes up on the shore of Ephesus.

And if that place sounds oddly familiar, it should. We (and by “we” I mean this project) have visited there before…

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Much Ado About… dramaturgy and older brothers

OK, I’m not a guy to blow my own horn or call too much attention to myself (much to Lisa’s chagrin). But what the hell…

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Review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Kingsmen Shakespeare Company

OK, here’s the deal: A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a summer staple. Almost any region that has more than one Shakespeare outlet will have at least one Midsummer to produce during any given year. There’s a reason for it: it’s popular. It’s light. It’s known.

And when we arrived last night at California Lutheran University for night one of the Kinsgmen Shakespeare Festival production, we saw the evidence. Nearly an hour and a half before the start of the play, the place was packed. I would say the crowd was almost twice as large as for Henry V a few weeks back. Remember, that was a very good production, well-reviewed with great word of mouth, a brilliant concept, and a matinee-handsome Henry. On the other hand, last night was opening night, with no raves to bring in a crowd. Midsummer is a popular play.

That, my friends, is a double-edged sword.

Sure, it’s popular. But it also means people have seen this play dozens of times before. The audience knows (or at least thinks they know) what to expect.

So how do you make the play your own? How do you make it fresh?

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YOU direct!

I had planned, and really wanted, to discuss man and masculinity today, following up on yesterday’s discussion of the “unsex me here” speech. But alas, time (unlike tomorrows) does not creep in a petty pace for me right now. No, my Bard brethren, I’m a tad pre-occupied…

Greetings from Omaha, Nebraska!

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The ending of Measure for Measure: beginning of marriages

At the end of Measure for Measure, we get the generic comedic ending: marriage and birth.

There is the promise of multiple weddings–one assured–before the close of the action…

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