Sunday, February 24, 2008

Taproot As You Like It

I had a great time introducing “me Olives” to Shakespeare this weekend. We saw “As You Like It” directed by Karen Lund (read as a pdf at wowio). I think that the title is excellent 17th Century marketing. Taproot Theater is excellent once again.

"The result is good, good, good vibrations."
- Joe Adcock, Seattle PI

One of the devices in this play is that the banished Duke becomes a hippie in the woods (1960s music for transitions, but faithful iambic pentameter otherwise) which worked well for me.

As hoped, Olives loved the play and I found it very familiar – I had never seen this particular comedy before but if follows the formula: A woman pretends to be a man to test the true heart of the male lead. One of the characters says something amazingly profound in a brief monologue, and everybody gets married at the end.
As the Reduced Shakespeare Company has rightly observed – this never gets old.

BTW – you can always tell the difference between tragedy and comedy with Shakespeare:
Tragedy – everybody dies
Comedy – everybody gets married

“Do you not know I am a woman? when I think, I must speak.”
- ROSALIND — Daughter to the banished Duke.

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”
- JAQUES — A Lord attending upon the banished Duke.

I think that Orlando Bloom should make like Kenneth Branagh and try out a film version of this play. Fittingly enough the male lead is named “Orlando”. If he does a good enough job on this he could then (when he is older) play the lead in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”… as an elf… well technically a fairy.

I toyed with the idea of traveling all the way down to Ashland Oregon to see “A Midsummer Night's Dream”. I wonder if it would have been worth the long drive, and worth missing this gem from Taproot.

Thank you to: Marianne Savell (Rosalind), Anne Kennedy (Celia) and Bob Borwick (Touchstone) for genuine enjoyment of one of my favorite things – Shakespeare.

My sketch today is a caricature of the much-used device: A woman pretends to be a man to test the true heart of the male lead.