Saturday, May 28, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

I saw my first real Shakespeare play! You can guess which one it was from the title of this post. The Stanford Program took all of us into London for the night to the recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. The play, almost needless to say, was fantastic!

Everything about it was golden. The play itself, one of Shakespeare's most loved comedies. The basic plot, which I think earns it its title, is basically about two men and two women in Italy. They fall in love and, to spoil the ending, get married! There are some bumps along the way, however. The lead man and lead woman, Benedick and Beatrice, vow in the beginning that they can't tolerate each other. Furthermore, the man wants never to marry, likening it to putting a yolk on an ox, and the woman vows similarly, saying she finds most men intolerable. Claudio and Hero, however, fall quickly in love and are engaged in the first act. The second act flips everything. Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, which was almost surely deep down all along. Claudio's and Hero's wedding is spoiled when the Prince's evil bastard brother tricks Claudio into thinking that Hero has been seeing other men at night. Feeling shamed and rejected, Hero feigns death, and Claudio blames himself for it. Benedick and Beatrice become frustrated with each other again. Just when everything seems like it had fallen irreparably apart, the evil brother's mischief is exposed, everything is explained to everyone, and everyone is happy again. Beatrice and Benedick truly confess their love, and, in the end, everyone dances. 

It's a pretty timeless tale, which I guess is that defines Shakespeare. Even though the script was Shakespeare's, the actors were masters of making the play just as accessible to today's audiences as they were to the commoners of Shakespearean London. The script and the costume were old-fashioned, but the inflection and the body language were completely understandable. There was a lot communicated non-verbally between lines that allowed everyone to understand what was going on. 

In any case, summary and analysis aside, I had a great time. I hadn't seen or read the play before, but it's such a classic story line that I feel like I had. It was hilarious, dramatic, witty, sad, and touching, everything I could hope for in a play. It was really predictable too, but somehow that didn't matter. 

During the play, Maricarmen commented on how I hadn't posted anything in a while. It's good to be reminded that people actually read this (when I post). So, I'm going to try a new posting system. I'll try to post something short each time I check my email (which I do compulsively all too often). Hopefully, I will post more and check email less. 

Also, I'm wearing contacts today for the first time in a couple months. I've been wearing glasses most of the time since I got new glasses last quarter. I figured I'd switch things up.

(June 10, 2010 - I'm adding the photos late)

The stage before the play started. Those are musicians there playing some period music.


L to R: Maricarmen, Aileen, Mori


Aileen! (looking like a mean grandma in my glasses)

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