Thursday, May 10, 2007

To be or not to be...

I have a bit of a Shakespeare fetish. It's not a crazy, dress up in Elizabethan-wear and run about the house speaking in iambic pentameter kind of fetish... Really it's not. I can't: the dog really hates iambic pentameter... it makes him angry. It's freaky! But I do have a particular fondness for Shakespeare. I'd list my other fetishes but this is not that kind of blog. It could become that kind of blog, but I'm resisting that urge. Naughty, naughty Joy.

But Shakespeare? Aw, that's alright.

In fact I cracked my Riverside Shakespeare just yesterday, amidst the mania, to begin re-reading Romeo & Juliet. I actually did a production (off-off-Broadway) several years ago, and that puts you waaaay up on any script over simply reading for pleasure, so re-reading is sort of superfluous now. But a friend of mine had an idea for a ... okay, not giving anything away. Let's just call this research.

When I was a kid I was a Midsummer Night's Dream aficionado. Can you imagine? What the hell kind of kid WAS I? No wonder my parents were distant. But as I got older I realized there really is nothing to compare with HAMLET. Nothing. It is the perfect play. It addresses everything: including suicide. Which, while that was not the thing that drew me to it, given my history and that of my family, certainly has resonance for me.

When Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet hit the big screen I was there at the premiere. I even have a program. Nice.

I have been waiting for this film to come to DVD since I got a DVD player. I had an alert at Amazon so I could get my hands on it as soon as it was available. This morning the email came! Four hours of DVD fun-fun-fun (Hamlet style) is going to hit the shelves on August 14. To say I'm happy would be understatement.

Miss X is visiting again today, and in honor of the Hamlet announcement I asked her to do an imitation of the melancholy Dane; as Basil is firmly against doing Shakespeare.She may have thought I meant imitate a Great Dane... but she's a bit petite to pull that off; and it does seem she has captured the essence of Hamlet here. So good for her!

Maybe this was my 'psychic' moment from yesterday? Could be. After all: There are more things in heaven and earth, [Joy], than are dreamt of in your philosophy.


marxsny said...

In the 10th grade I took a Shakespeare class taught by this older teacher who was rumored to be a lesbian. She would start every class with lessons in pronunciation "Repeat after me class LAY-AIR-TEES, OH-FEEL-EE-AH" Needless to say the class inspired more disinterest in me than anything. I did however enjoy the film version of Richard III Ian McKellen did a few years back.

Joy said...

I hate when bad teachers ruin Shakespeare for kids.

You know I love Ian McKellen's Richard - and his Magneto!!!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

LOL! Miss X really did pull off the Hamlet impression quite well.

I've always been a Macbeth fan.

Allan said...

Followed Whim over here... The tag:
"grateful to be alive" is wonderful to see. It's important.