Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saturday-- Off to Lenox, Shakes & Co.

Up at 8:30 am, not enough sleep. Apologized to Alice the cat for being about to go away all day and fed her some baked chicken breast to placate her in advance. Got together a picnic lunch and did some yoga. Will called at 9:15am to say that he was on his way over. We three left for Lenox at a little after 10:00, more or less on schedule, arrived in town time to pick up tickets for Servant of Two Masters Part I at 1:15pm. The junior Banksyde company, which performs under a tent on the Footprint of the future replica of London's Rose Theatre, is engaging; and their intention to enlist the audience in a world that bridges today and Shakespeare's time and relates the Comedia conventions to both eras is an admirable idea-- but one that doesn't really work. Pretending to be a traveling troupe-- but of what period? -- that has lesser status and must defer to the elite senior S&Co troupe in the Founders' Theatre is a graceful idea. But these ideas put together add up to far too much exposition and explanation for the payoff in punch lines. The in jokes and local references are great, just the right spirit for Comedia players. But as justifications? I'd say, no apologies: lame jokes are best launched lightly and even side-splitters improve twhen they come across cleaner and leaner. The Servant staging itself is as good as any I've seen: nimble and sly and generous-- a most entertaining way to spend a summer afternoon. The first act --or first half-- ends with a wild flurry of multi character juggling that whips up a storm of applause.
Next we'll eat our little picnic on the grass outside the theatre, have a brief visit with David's mother-- who lives only a few blocks from the S&Co. complex-- and return in time for the Second Part of "Servant", followed immediately by the 8pm Hamlet. I don't know when I will get to writing these up: by the time we drive back to Newton and unpack ourselves it will be Sunday am. Sunday afternoon David and I have volunteered to work on the rehab of the FUSN Sanctuary, Sunday night is the FUSN choir picnic. I expect that Monday and perhaps even Tues I'll be a Zombie.


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