If you are directing or playing Othello, or teaching it, please buy this book and try James Earl Jones’ interpretation in “The Sun God.” It sounds ama...moreIf you are directing or playing Othello, or teaching it, please buy this book and try James Earl Jones’ interpretation in “The Sun God.” It sounds amazing; I want to see this interpretation. Ralph Fiennes directed “Coriolanus” as a film and I haven’t gotten around to seeing it yet. Similarly, Julie Taymor discusses her film of “The Tempest,” which very much makes me want to see it too. F. Murray Abraham talks about playing Shylock on tour and how each house had its own personality and colored the performances. As well as actors and directors, nearly all of them British or American, except for a few, also writers and professors discuss how they use Shakespeare. Anthony Sher is British now, but he was raised in South Africa, he did most of his Shakespeare at RSC, with the exception of a joint produced production of “The Tempest” in Cape Town. No Canadians here, well, except for Conor McCreery, who reports how seeing “The Tempest” with his high school at Stratford, ON changed his life. A comic book reader, he became a writer with Kill Shakespeare, Vol. 1 when he realized there were only minor differences between Caliban and Wolverine. There are few Americans or British in this collection who didn’t do their productions on Broadway or off- Broadway, at the Globe, in London, --San Diego’s Globe doesn’t seem to count here and other Shakespeare companies are similarly excluded-- or the RSC, except for Jess Winfield’s Reduced Shakespeare Company and Fiasco Theater Company. There are writers in this collection whose work uses Shakespeare. I hadn’t heard of Alan Gordon and his novels about Shakespeare’s Fools that begin with Thirteenth Night. They sound great. And of course he’s right that actual clowns should be cast as Shakespeare’s fools.
Joss Whedon has just directed his friends in Much Ado About Nothing on film; he, or one of the actors, couldn’t also have been asked for an essay? Paul Gross wrote, directed, and acted in the three season long television show “Slings and Arrows” set at a fictional Canadian Shakespeare festival. And he played “Hamlet” in Stratford, among others. He, or one of his collaborators, couldn’t have written an essay? I really enjoyed this, but feel it could have been better for being geographically broader, while for my taste, leaving out some of the dry professors.
I received this book from Amazon Vine Program 3.7.13 in return for an honest review. (less)
Like an anthology of short stories, some plays in this collection were more to my tastes than others. I loved John Guare’s “The General of Hot Desire....moreLike an anthology of short stories, some plays in this collection were more to my tastes than others. I loved John Guare’s “The General of Hot Desire.” I also loved Tony Kushner’s “Terminating or Lass Meine Schmerzen Nicht Verloren Sein, or Ambivalence.” “140” by Marsha Norman and “Hydraulics Phat Like Mean” by Ntozake Shange didn’t work for me on the page. I read the collection for Wendy Wasserstein’s “Waiting for Philip Glass” and I found it uninvolving.
(Three questions about this play: Are the seven plays designed as one evening’s entertainment? Or are the producers to pick and choose which plays to produce? Or do all seven plays over two nights?)(less)
“They call me ‘honest Iago’ from an early age, but in Venice, this is not a compliment. It is rebuke. One does not prosper by honesty. …Honesty causes...more“They call me ‘honest Iago’ from an early age, but in Venice, this is not a compliment. It is rebuke. One does not prosper by honesty. …Honesty causes upset, and Venice is serene.” (1)
This is an exploration into what made Iago do it. Betray his best friends, his general, his wife. Emilia is one of my favorite Shakespeare characters and she comes off very well in this novel, as does Othello. As inexplicable as Iago’s actions are, Emilia always comes off well here. She really is honest, where Iago just playacts at it.
If I could give this eleven stars I would. This is a book that richly deserves its Hugo and Nebula! I am thrilled I discovered Jo Walton this fall. I...moreIf I could give this eleven stars I would. This is a book that richly deserves its Hugo and Nebula! I am thrilled I discovered Jo Walton this fall. I feel elated to have read this book.
“Think of this as a memoir. Think of it as one of those memoirs that’s later discredited to everyone’s horror because the author lied and is revealed to be a different colour, gender, class and creed from the way they’d made everybody think. I have the opposite problem. I have to keep fighting to stop making myself sound more normal. Fiction’s nice. Fiction lets you select and simplify. This isn’t a nice story, and this isn’t an easy story. But it is a story about fairies, so feel free to think of it as a fairy story. It’s not like you’d believe it anyway.” (16)
I lovelovelove this book! I love its main character Mor and want her to get together with Oscar Wao from The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, or possibly Junior, from that same book and/ or Diaz’s book that came out this fall, since Oscar dies in the first book. (Is it still a spoiler if it’s a completely different book that came out a few years ago?) Mor doesn’t need to lose more people. It’s not wrong to try to set up your favorite characters from different books, is it?
“I don’t think I am like other people. I mean on some deep fundamental level. It’s not just being half a twin and reading a lot and seeing fairies. It’s not just being outside when they’re all inside. I used to be inside. I think there’s a way I stand aside and look backwards at things when they’re happening which isn’t normal. It’s a thing you need to do for doing magic. But as I’m not going to do any magic, it’s rather wasted.” (169)
So 15 year old Mor moves from Wales to England to attend a boarding school, but this is an anti- Hogwarts. Mor already does magic, her school is boring. But there, she gets involved with a group at the Village library who discuss science fiction and fantasy. It’s there Mor comes alive and finds a way to keep safe.
Though there are fifteen year olds who might love this book, I don't think this is intended as a young adult novel. It's for people who love science fiction and fantasy, who are commited to it, who have strong opinions on what they read, who have gained strength, like Mor does and like the characters in sf & f to go on their journeys.(less)
Niko is a swords master and martial artist, but mostly he is bodyguard and protector for his little brother Cal. Cal’s full name is Caliban, his fathe...moreNiko is a swords master and martial artist, but mostly he is bodyguard and protector for his little brother Cal. Cal’s full name is Caliban, his father was a demon. The brothers wind up in NYC, where they find a boggle in Central Park, a troll under the Brooklyn Bridge, and a gorgeous vampire in an Upper East Side penthouse. The demons on Cal’s side of the family, they call them Grendels, are coming for him, but Robin Goodfellow (yes, Puck!) joins in the rescue. Cal is a cynical, very funny narrator. This is a series I’m going to have to acquire the rest of. Please see my four stars as four and a half stars.
“Most kids don’t believe in fairy tales very long. Once they hit six or seven they put away 'Cinderella' and her shoe fetish, 'The Three Little Pigs,' with their violation of building codes, 'Miss Muffet' and her well-shaped tuffet— all forgotten or discounted. And maybe that’s the way it has to be. To survive in the world, you have to give up fantasies, the make-believe. The only trouble is that it’s not all make-believe. Some parts of the fairy tale are all too real, all too true. There might not be a Red Riding Hood, but there is a Big Bad Wolf. No Snow White, but definitely an Evil Queen. No obnoxiously cute blond tots, but a child-eating witch… yeah. Oh yeah.”(less)
I found this to be a thoroughly delightful book, but it’s intended YA audience, most of them, might be very confused by it. I mean, I love Shakespeare...moreI found this to be a thoroughly delightful book, but it’s intended YA audience, most of them, might be very confused by it. I mean, I love Shakespeare, Welles, and backstage and onstage dramas, so I'm the perfect audience.
17 year old Richard Samuels gets for one week to play Lucius in 22 year old Orson Welles’ 1937 Julius Caesar.
“Houseman shrugged. ‘This is the essential Orson Welles moment isn’t it? Whole show in shambles. We open in under twenty-four hours. Entire vessel keeling over. Water breaching the deck.’
‘But wait,’ said Cotton in that same tone of mock melodrama. ‘There is one man who can save us.’
‘One man,’ said Houseman, ‘with the vision, the imagination, the—‘
‘From the beginning!’ bellowed Welles, coming from the wings.”
If I had the option of more than five stars, this novel would have them. This is a unique pleasure! This delightful novel has two Shakespeares narratin...moreIf I had the option of more than five stars, this novel would have them. This is a unique pleasure! This delightful novel has two Shakespeares narrating: UC Santa Cruz grad student Willie Shakespeare Greenberg in 1982 who is attempting to do everything but write his Master’s Thesis on the Bard and 18 year old William Shakespeare of Stratford- upon- Avon in 1582 who is stuck teaching Latin and trying to avoid those who would hurt him for being a Catholic. Greenberg gets the odd chapters and Shakespeare the even, until their lives come together. “…You perform here, amongst this company, with seeming passion.” “Seeming is our trade. And there’s profit in it, too. There is an insatiable hunger in England for theater. In London especially. A man may make a pretty penny on the stage, if he will but commit to London nine months a year.” (Shakespeare & Burbage) “Shakespeare… helped create the modern man, didn‘t he, his influence is that pervasive. He held the mirror up to nature, but he also created that mirror: so the image he created is the very one we hold ourselves up to. It’s almost like a time- travel paradox, isn’t it?” A thoroughly fun, fun, fun book, that had me both laughing out loud and anxious to know if the characters would be okay.(less)