Midsummer is a staple of the Shakespeare library of work. It's one of the first ones any of us know as kids because of the fairies and it having a silMidsummer is a staple of the Shakespeare library of work. It's one of the first ones any of us know as kids because of the fairies and it having a silly man with a donkey's head. So as an adult reading it properly for the first time, it feels like you're re-reading a book you read years ago. (Except there's a lot more of Theseus and Oberon droning on and on and on than one would expect, but I digress.)
This is one of those rare Shakespeare shows where there really isn't any one main character, or even two or three. Every single character is a main character except the adult nobles, the Rude Mechanicals who aren't Quince or Bottom, and Titania's fairy servants. Everyone else is a major player who felt like they get equal time to shine. That's largely in thanks to the pattern within the show; it's basically like one giant revolting door, and everyone has a more-or-less equal time to have their scenes and leave before the next group of characters comes on. There's only a few scenes where the different groups overlap, and that's mostly in the last half of the show. Most notably, the very last scene in which the Rude Mechanicals perform a show for the nobles of Athens to celebrate the marriage of Hippolyta and Theseus.
This is certainly one of Shakespeare's scripts that are far better to be watched than read. On stage, the action and dialogue is hilarious and very diverse in how it can be played. On the page, it lacks that spark that only comes from actors making the role their own. Many of the Rude Mechanicals are quite boring on the page, for instance. Yes, there's puns and jokes, but the real humor comes to the forefront when the actors are allowed to really breathe life into Shakespeare's witty words.
A Shakespeare classic for a good reason, this play is a great read... but definitely a must-watch for everyone!...more
This book was a fantastic continuation of the Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige. The set-up for book three was Amy Gumm's return to Kansas...This book was a fantastic continuation of the Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige. The set-up for book three was Amy Gumm's return to Kansas... where the battle for Oz's future continues. And while I liked the sequel prior this book, The Wicked Will Rise (I did give it 5 stars, after all), this book was everything I wanted and more from the set-up leading into it.
As a hardcore Ozophile and huge fan of the original fourteen books by L. Frank Baum, there were three things I really wanted to see in this series before it's conclusion in the upcoming The End of Oz: (view spoiler)[Dorothy's original silver slippers, Queen Lurline, and the Nome King (hide spoiler)]. This book delivered on all three in such a fantastic way! (Although the latter definitely reminded me very much of the villain from The Legend of Holly Claus as well as his Baum's Oz counterpart, and I wonder if that was intentional or not.)
If you haven't picked up this series yet, what are you waiting for?! It's a really great YA series for hardcore Ozophiles, those who only know the 1939 MGM movie, and those who only know Oz from pop culture. Go check it out before the last book comes out this March!...more
I directed this show for Halloween 2016, and it is FANTASTIC! I really loved how faithful the script is to the original story, not shirking the relatiI directed this show for Halloween 2016, and it is FANTASTIC! I really loved how faithful the script is to the original story, not shirking the relationship between Laura and Carmilla that made the original (now nearly-forgotten) novella so scandalous.
If you're considering producing this show, I have one suggestion: split the role of Laura. In the script, Laura is played by one actress who stops talking in the past (just before WW2 in the late 1930s) to answer Capt. Martin's question or query in the present (in the 1940s, not long after WW2 is over). It get's confusing for the audience and the reader at times, and we found that splitting the lines between a Young Laura who lived the story and an Adult Laura who is telling Martin the story worked best for everyone. For this reason, I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5.
It's a small hiccup, but other that splitting the Laura role this script is so good! The language is evocative and every character, even the three who only have one scene each, is given dialogue and scenes that are interesting and were a blast to stage. I can't recommend this adaption enough!...more
As a huge Oz nerd (I learned to read by reading the original 14 Oz books by L. Frank Baum and collect Oz like cHooooooly cow, this book was brilliant!
As a huge Oz nerd (I learned to read by reading the original 14 Oz books by L. Frank Baum and collect Oz like crazy, it doesn't get too much nerdier than that) I was... well, I was very on the fence. I WANTED Dorothy Must Die to be good, but I had a strong feeling it might just be "meh", no matter how fantastic the ARC packaging was.
Boy, was I blown away like a farmhouse in a twister!
This book exceeded every expectation I had and was one of the absolute best adaptions of Oz to come out of the last 20 years. That's saying a lot. Dorothy Must Die is our 2010's equivalent to 1985's Return to Oz, a very dark, non-musical (loose) sequel to the MGM musical that was based on both the second and third Oz books (The Marvelous Land of Oz and Ozma of Oz, respectively). Even though it's a modern sequel where everything is really, REALLY twisted (many people get killed in gory ways; prepare yourselves) and Dorothy is a tyrannical, crazy psycho... this is Oz. I could see how Danielle Paige could view the marvelous land of Oz as a place that could get so twisted after a few key events. It's totally conceivable, which is mind-blowing.
This book is definitely for the older teen crowd and up, not pre-teens. It gets intense. PEOPLE LITERALLY EXPLODE/MELT HORRIBLY. I really enjoyed it, though. The only problem I had was with the romance bit. I think that should have either been more of a build up or could have waited until a later book. It was just suddenly, Yes hello I'm the teens-in-love couple we are here now yes. It was just too sudden for me? Though maybe others were ok with it; I don't usually read teen romance, so it just threw me off (but not so much as to take away a star, because the rest of the book was BRILLIANT).
I couldn't believe how much I was grinning at her references to the original Oz books, the famous 1939 MGM musical, and even the costume design of Wicked on Broadway! I think there was even a reference to Ozma's Labyrinth, which only ever appeared in an unaired pilot for a 2001 show that didn't happen called Lost In Oz. Talk about dedication to obscure references! If you're not familiar with the original 14 Oz books, that's ok, it won't hinder your reading of Dorothy Must Die. But if you are, like myself, it'll add a whole new depth to Ms. Paige's choices. Here's some of the awesome things I loved and what they were references to: - Tin Soldiers (Captain Fyter; made me gleeful when I finally realized!) - a Tin Soldier with a bicycle body (the Wheelers) - Amy Gumm (Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the movie musical, was born Frances Gumm) - Pete (I'm not going to say what he corresponds to, but I guessed it early on and was SO HAPPY I was correct because it is GENIUS) - all the guests mentioned at Dorothy's ball are actual characters from the original series! - Mombi disguising Amy as a maid (Mombi did to that herself in The Marvelous Land of Oz) - Grandma Gert's protective kiss on Amy's forehead (The Good Witch of the North, aka Ms. Paige's Gert, does this to Dorothy upon her arrival in Oz) - JELLIA FREAKIN' JAMB, Y'ALL
(I could go on much longer, but those were some of my favorites and I don't want to be typing forever. That'd be A Fate Worse Than Death.)
I want to hug this book. That's all it comes down to. I can't WAIT to read the rest of the series! But now we play the waiting game. In the meantime, let's all go read No Place Like Oz, the novella e-book prequel to Dorothy Must Die. This book was a fantastic debut by a new author, Danielle Paige. Can't wait to see what happens next!
P.S. - (Can reviews have a postscript...? Oh well.) Goodreads user Wendy Darling wrote an EXCELLENT review of Dorothy Must Die over on her site, so you should go over an read it, too! Just avoid looking at Dorothy's shoes too long. It'll have dire consequences if you do. http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2014......more
I literally laid on my bed just starring into space for a good five minutes after reading this book, then tweeted that I had end-of-series depression.I literally laid on my bed just starring into space for a good five minutes after reading this book, then tweeted that I had end-of-series depression. A tweet that Jessica Day George retweeted.
This book was fantastic. An excellent finale to the series. Every character was unique from all others that have come in the previous two books in the series, Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass. It was honestly a perfect finale to a perfect series. On a scale of five stars, I'd give it 10. Some things were predictable, of course, but the ride to the predictable points was an enjoyable one,and some truly unexpected things did happen, and there may have been a red herring thrown in that was kind of not so much a red herring after all. So it was completely brilliant.
I could wax poetic all day on the things I loved about this book and this series, but I'll conclude with how awesome it is that Jessica Day George puts the knitting patterns in the back of each book in the series. I mean seriously, the Princess series is easily the only teen series that does that. Unique and original, just like everything about this series. This will forever hold a spot on my shelf with Robin McKinley, the The Children of Green Knowe series, and Jane Yolen!...more