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17 December 2009

We saw Equivocation at the Seattle Rep Buy Valium No Prescription, on Thanksgiving Eve. I wanted to like it more than I did. But at least now I can tell you, Valium pharmacy, unequivocally - the King is hiding inside, Buy Valium no prescription, and you're free to take him off my hands - off all of our hands. It's long past time to think power without the king.

I am highly sympathetic with Bill Cain's project here, buy no prescription Valium online. In Equivocation he revives the many topical and political resonances of Shakespeare's plays for a 21st century audience unfamiliar with the period, rescuing them from the discredit that the "authorship question" people - who use them to argue someone more highly born and politically connected than Shakespeare must have written the plays - and the "royal flattery" people - who say Shakespeare used them to flatter King James, patron of his company The King's Men - have brought upon them, Buy Valium No Prescription. Cain even takes aim at the New Historicism (now getting pretty old itself...) by putting its central tenet - that Shakespeare had the knack of seeming to everyone to be on their side, Order Valium no prescription, and not the other ("there is no end of subversion - only not for us") - in Robert Cecil's mouth, and making it the putative reason why Cecil and James choose Shag (Cain's moniker for Shakespeare) for the task of penning a propagandistic account of the Gunpowder Plot.

Indeed, buy Valium in canada, despite my own extensive background in these matters, Rx free Valium, even I came away with new things to chew on. I suppose I must once have heard that Polonius in Hamlet parodies the late William Cecil, order Valium from mexican pharmacy, Queen Elizabeth's chief advisor, Buy Valium without a prescription, but if so I had forgotten the allusion and never completely appreciated it. Cain also has Garnet the Father of equivocation provide Shag and us with a very illustrative example (how to answer traitors who come to door to capture and kill the rightful king you are hiding, which I myself allude to in the first paragraph), online buy Valium without a prescription, and has great fun with another allusion that makes a lot of sense - that William Cecil's son Robert is parodied in Richard III - as well as a couple that seem intriguing but don't quite wash - that if King James is flattered in Banquo, Cecil's nihilism is parodied in Macbeth. Buy Valium No Prescription, He even makes up some cockamamie story that Cecil can't stand the word "tomorrow" - and tomorrow, and tomorrow...

The Polonius / William Cecil parody got me thinking even more later - the way it might actually work (since as Robert Cecil points out here, Valium over the counter, why make fun of an advisor several years deceased?) is that that makes Laertes Robert Cecil, Where can i buy Valium online, Hamlet Essex - and King James Claudius: “Is thy Union here. Follow my mother," as noted in my Jude Law, Valium samples, Hamlet post. Purchase Valium online, But that's a longer story left untold at the untimely end of my academic career that I'll have to defer till yet another day.

In the upshot I didn't like Equivocation as much as I'd hoped. First off - it's a bit of a mess, Buy Valium No Prescription. The play's all over the place:


  • Shag receives absolution from one Gunpowder Plotter, where can i order Valium without prescription, and gives absolution to another

  • Hamlet, Order Valium, Richard III, Lear, Macbeth, Valium price, and the Romances are all discussed, Buy cheap Valium no rx, alluded to, excerpted

  • Cain regurgitates his favorite bits from the best Shakespeare lectures he's ever heard

  • he puts Macbeth (mainly) through the cuisinart to create his own Gunpowder Plot play (Write Like Shakespeare might have helped)

  • Hamnet and Judith are both in it

  • Cain's fond of scenes with manly men making theater together between brawls to show just how manly they are

  • James isn't just gay - Shag actually interrupts him in bed with another man (Buckingham?)


And Cain's odd way of praising the bard with feigned damnation  - seemingly as a way to counter any skepticism of his genius among the audience, and to stick it to the above-mentioned New Historicists - grated me, Valium from canadian pharmacy, particularly when, Where can i buy cheapest Valium online, summed up, it only amounted to another brand of bardolatry.

I think boiled down, buy cheapest Valium, the main line of plot development lost amid this mess is, Purchase Valium online no prescription, basically:


  • Shag discovers that Cecil and James set up the whole Gunpowder Plot  for propaganda purposes

  • he sympathizes with the plotters and pities their horrible executions - so much so he even intervenes at the end in Garnet's

  • he pens a play that would expose it all and get the entire company killed - especially since they are to perform it for James first

  • the company makes a collective decision to do Macbeth instead

  • Shag nevertheless does manage to get some of the zingers planned for the lost Gunpowder Plot play into Macbeth

  • and gets the chance to confront Cecil about all this

  • but none of it  matters - James delights in plausible deniability

  • ironically Cecil's line outlasts everyone else's and bears no hereditary guilt today

  • Shag performs the penance Garnet assigns him, lets go of his lost son Hamnet and reconciles with Hamnet's twin Judith

  • Judith wrote the romances - well, they were stories Shag overheard when she lamented his abandonment of her - and that's what Shakespeare wrote that had the most mass appeal (even if in Cain's view they are crap plays with none of this high class political intrigue going on)


In the end, buy Valium online cod, this fantasy of Shakespeare directly confronting and being manipulated by Cecil and James is almost as bad as what the authorship question people do: Shakespeare's actual audience that came to the Globe is unimportant - a bunch of plebs who preferred Pericles (can you believe it) to Macbeth - compared to the high and mighty of Shakespeare's day and their power struggles. Australia, uk, us, usa, canada, mexico, india, craiglist, ebay, paypal, Central to this fantasy is Cain's notion of a long personal feud between Shakespeare and Cecil (dating all the way back to Richard III): to counter the authorship people, Cain proposes that Shakespeare had a place of his own at the table of the great, however begrudgingly secured, Valium for sale.

And it also ignores there is all kinds of political intrigue going on in the Romances - though not something that played out in dramatic personal scenes between Shakespeare, Buy Valium from mexico, the king, and his highest councilor. Buy Valium No Prescription, Rather it's directed where it could have an effect some 30 years later in overthrowing James' heir Charles - at the political unconscious of its mass audience, pitting humane fantasy against propagandistic ideology to convince a nation maybe they didn't need a king after all, that maybe Parliament alone was enough, and they had the right to execute that king for his crimes against them. He wasn't God's anointed after all.., buy Valium online no prescription.

But again, Online buying Valium, that's a longer story for another day - part of which I've already told, though in an academic manner that seems curiously foreign to me now. Maybe I'll find the time to tell a more compelling version of it someday - perhaps in a more tightly constructed and deeply considered play than even this one proved to be, buy generic Valium, alas. Where can i find Valium online, Or maybe I could just give Bill Cain some advice on his next one. Couldn't hurt - and I'm way too busy making a more conventional living, and too lacking in connections to the theater industry, to write and produce a play myself. Just drop me a comment, Bill, if you'd like to chat. Maybe you'd be interested in the Pericles project I could never get Bart Sher to consider.

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24 November 2009

It's been over a week now since we saw Jude Law play Hamlet on Broadway Buy Retin A No Prescription, . Before I let the experience slip into that oblivion from whose bourn no memory returns - beyond what I've already recorded in a couple of tweets - let me leave a fuller trace here.

As mentioned in a previous post, Order Retin A no prescription, Rosalind and I had thought of returning to London to see Jude in the Donmar production - but then discovered it was coming to New York after visiting Elsinore in between, and so decided to catch it closer to home. London on such short notice was always somewhat fantastical.

We found out about the run early, buy Retin A in canada, and secured front-row tickets - on the extreme left, all by ourselves, Order Retin A online c.o.d, with aisles on both sides - great for getting out at intermission. We were so close that when the action brought Jude down stage right, it almost seemed as if he were playing just for us - so close, that several times he even locked eyes with me, and seemed to scrutinize my face to gauge the audience reaction, Buy Retin A No Prescription.

Whenever he did, he saw me lost in wonder for the most part, amazed at the performance he was giving, australia, uk, us, usa, canada, mexico, india, craiglist, ebay, paypal. This Hamlet is Jude Law's own personal star turn - and he not only knows it, he also proved himself quite up to it throughout. Retin A for sale, I've never seen such an energetic and intelligent Hamlet - with that energy manifested not merely in raw movement across the stage, but in the fire of instant comprehension flashing in his eyes, and the precisely nuanced way he tears into each phrase. Jude looks and sounds like he knows exactly why he's saying every single word he says, buy Retin A online no prescription, with none of the usual glossing over the difficult parts and relying on rote recitation than nearly every other Hamlet I've ever seen has sometimes relied on. Buy Retin A No Prescription, Unfortunately Jude's strength was also the weakness of this production. All the other important characters were minimized - or in the case of Ophelia, Online buy Retin A without a prescription, left to an actress not up to task (she played the friend in Lost in Austen). This was especially noticeable in the case of Gertrude, whose own personal struggle - in some ways even more interesting than Hamlet's - was given shorter and shorter shrift as the play went on (she starred in the second part of The Jewel in the Crown). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, order Retin A, in contrast, emerged as more major characters than usual, Buy cheap Retin A no rx, thanks to the passionate intimacy Jude lavishes on them in their scenes together.

The only other Hamlet I've seen who can hold a candle to Jude here is Kenneth Branagh in his film version. And it's a pity he couldn't direct Jude in this production, as originally planned (Branagh had to bow out due to a previous commitment to direct the movie Thor for Marvel comics...), Buy Retin A No Prescription. His replacement was not up to the task.

The director first begins to fail Jude in the "To be or not to be" soliloquy, buy Retin A without a prescription. One way Jude helps communicate the text's nuances to the audience is through supplementary gestures - he almost mimes the part as he speaks it. I'm not sure if this was Jude's or the director's idea, Online buying Retin A, but it works out well until he reaches that object infamous among poor students quizzed on the play, the "bare bodkin:"


For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, Retin A pharmacy,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay, Buy Retin A from mexico, The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin.
Buy Retin A No Prescription, When Jude reaches that infamous phrase, he mimes slashing his wrist - and there this artifice fails him for the first time.

What anyone with the hubris to direct Hamlet should know - and should make sure their Hamlet knows - is that this soliloquy, Buy generic Retin A, though popularly misconstrued as a meditation on suicide, is not about suicide per se. Ever since he met the ghost and found an object for his anger, Hamlet has had no interest in committing suicide - "his affections do not that way tend, buy no prescription Retin A online," any more than they do to lovesickness for Ophelia.

Rather this soliloquy is about Hamlet's realization that for him to take open and violent revenge on Claudius would be, in effect, a kind of suicide - and like suicide would be a crime not so much against man, as against God, the king being God's anointed representative on earth according to the reigning political theory of the time, Buy Retin A No Prescription. ("The body is with the king, Retin A from canadian pharmacy, but the king is not with the body. The king is a thing...of nothing" came through loud and clear this time, thanks to the emphasis this production lends to Hamlet's interactions with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. "Is thy Union here, Retin A price. Follow my mother" at the end didn't fare so well, alas - but I suppose I'm the only one alive today who fully appreciates its significance.)

What Hamlet is saying here is, Where can i buy cheapest Retin A online, in contemporary terms, more like:


Why would anyone take shit from others -
His boss, jerks, women who don't want him, rx free Retin A, judges,
Bureaucrats, Where can i find Retin A online, rivals who get the promotion
He deserves - when he could just pull out a
Switchblade and settle the score.
Buy Retin A No Prescription, Or even, given the political context:

                        - when he could just strap on a
Bomb and get even at last.

That's why there are still suicide overtones here. For Hamlet knows that when you assassinate a crowned king with his men at arms standing round about, you're not going to live to see tomorrow, buy Retin A online cod. You might as well just blow yourself up - "hoist with his own petard" as he says in a related passage. And this is only the beginning of the director's failure to mine the rich vein of "se offendendo" thematics in the play - the ways Ophelia, Order Retin A from mexican pharmacy, Hamlet, even Gertrude all kill themselves in ambiguous "self-(de)(of)fense," thus fulfilling Aristotle's dictum that the tragic emotions of pity and fear arise from our judgement that the scapegoat is, in the end, where can i buy Retin A online, katharos (innocent).

But enough of what I would do if ever I got the chance to direct this play - or better, was brought in as a consultant to bat ideas around with the director and cast (like Hamlet himself, that is my dream job, Buy Retin A No Prescription. Producers take note: my fee is very reasonable). Purchase Retin A online no prescription, You all would probably rather hear about the most important scene of this production - the scene at the stage door after the play.

For those of you who don't know about this cherished Broadway tradition - and if you don't, you'd better before you go - after every play or musical on the great white way, the actors greet their fans on the sidewalk outside the stage door, buy Retin A no prescription, where they chat informally, sign programs, Retin A over the counter, and pose for photos with them.

Or at least, that's what happens when a major movie or TV star isn't involved. Buy Retin A No Prescription, When it's Jude Law doing Hamlet, all the other actors slink away to little or no fanfare while fans crowd the barricades, security people hover, and the big black SUV pulls up, ready for a quick getaway if trouble arises. Then the entire sidewalk is blocked off, Retin A samples, the fans in the first holding pen scramble for position, and at last Jude emerges, Purchase Retin A online, alternating between the barricades on either side to do all the usual stuff but chat casually with fans - which given the screaming would be impossible.

I can understand the security - indeed, it seemed rather light, given the circumstances, where can i order Retin A without prescription. After all, Jude's ex-girlfriend Sienna Miller was starring in After Miss Julie just down the street - talk about "the pangs of despised love" - and who knows what might have happened if she decided to show up. Bodkins - "a long hairpin, usually with an ornamental head" - are quite out of fashion.

Fortunately the situation passed uneventfully this time, and we escaped with our playbill signed by this Hamlet's only star, Buy Retin A No Prescription. It was well worth the risk and effort - I highly recommend the production. But you'd better get yourself to Broadway before Pearl Harbor Day - when this spectacular production blows itself up - if you want to see it. Line up early for standing room tickets if you need to. You won't be disappointed. I swear.

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21 July 2009

I picked up a button at the Intiman Theatre's Othello Friday night:

Trust No One
Othello
intiman.org
Buy Phentermine No Prescription, Silly motto for Othello: sure, don't trust Iago...but do trust your own wife. Rx free Phentermine, But it seemed curiously apropos in regard to Bart Sher. My wife and I subscribed for the last time to the Intiman this year, where can i buy Phentermine online, Buy generic Phentermine, on the promise the Bart would direct this Othello. We figured he wasn't long for this town - with so much Broadway success in musicals and an opera or two, buy Phentermine online cod, Phentermine samples, he's already moved his family back to New York - so we decided we'd catch another of his jaunty, but typically not very trenchant, order Phentermine, Where can i order Phentermine without prescription, Shakespeare productions one last time.

But no - Bart couldn't be bothered, Phentermine price. Sure, he retains the title of Artistic Director, and even prevailed upon the board to let him pick the next one - but after casting the lead roles, he let the Theatre for a New Audience, with Diane Arbus's widower's daughter helming the production, reprise their much praised New York production, Buy Phentermine No Prescription. Phentermine pharmacy, Alas, Bart's actors weren't up to the task, online buy Phentermine without a prescription. Buy Phentermine online no prescription, Iago spoke in some East European accent, raising questions from the first scene: how did he expect no one to recognize his voice while speaking from the shadows to taunt Desdemona's father that the Moor was making the beast with two backs with her, Phentermine for sale. Buy Phentermine from mexico, And the actor who played Othello was not only short on stature - the soul of his Othello seemed stunted too, so we never really understood why we should care he met such a tragic fate - he seemed so likely to meet one in any case, buy Phentermine in canada, Where can i buy cheapest Phentermine online, given the circumstances.

Othello hinges on whether the actors playing Iago and the title guy can pull off the continuous series of scenes that start with Othello in no doubt as to his wife's fidelity, Phentermine over the counter, Buy no prescription Phentermine online, and end with him completely convinced she's cuckolded him, kneeling to swear a perverse second marriage to revenge and Iago, australia, uk, us, usa, canada, mexico, india, craiglist, ebay, paypal, Order Phentermine online c.o.d, his unlikely paramour in that passion. Buy Phentermine No Prescription, This production failed to convince. Oh sure, online buying Phentermine, Where can i find Phentermine online, they went through the motions, and Othello at least was well spoken, buy Phentermine without a prescription. Purchase Phentermine online no prescription, But the audience remained skeptical, and nary a shocked sigh was heard as the curtain closed on intermission, Phentermine from canadian pharmacy. Purchase Phentermine online, What a disappointment. I wish Bart all the best now that he's finally made it back to New York after a decade spent in this stepping stone of a theater town, buy cheapest Phentermine. Seattle does too - people around here love the validation provided by having their more promising artists leave town and prove they can make it there, after making it in the anywhere we call here, Buy Phentermine No Prescription. Order Phentermine no prescription, That's why Seattle will remain an outpost of the national theatrical scene for the foreseeable future - suitable for tryouts and development projects, a kind of latter-day New Haven, buy Phentermine no prescription, Order Phentermine from mexican pharmacy, but a true theater town - never, until it starts trusting no one, buy cheap Phentermine no rx, and hiring people who will stay for the duration, and make Seattle the place it does not quite dare to be at last.

But there's the tragedy: it's already too late. Even the actors are rarely local anymore. The Dust Bowl is here. It's time to follow Bart to fresh woods and pastures new.

Let the last one leaving town turn out the lights - and then turn out the light.

--Dana, denizen of Seattle

.

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