Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brush Up Your Shakespeare


There comes a point in one’s life when a person must forgo the tried and true “crashing on a friend’s sofa while on vacation in order to save money” shtick and start staying in hotels like an adult.  For most people that comes after college graduation.  As you may well know… I am not like most people.  The joys of being a starving artist, however, means that you get a certain pity-induced BONUS ROUND of sorts.  Except in this instance it’s not so much a friend’s sofa as it is a friend’s parent’s guest room.  One day I’ll grow up, but I’m not so much seeing it in the near future.

As such, I was picked up at the airport by my friend, Cynthian’s, mother Mary Anne.  I had met her a couple of times before when she came to Ann Arbor for some opera performances and we got along absolutely famously. (Don’t even get us started on pear martinis).

After treating me to a fantastic dinner they were headed to see Shakespeare’s oft forgotten play, Cymbeline, at D.C.’s Shakespeare Theater Company while I planned on meandering about the Mall area taking in a good, long monument stroll until the show was over.  At least, that’s what I had intended on doing.  When checking to see what time the show was going to finish I found out they had $15 student rush tickets. So with my trusty University of Michigan badge in tow I snagged a seat!!!!

2011-02-24 21.32.33


The play itself is a veritable Cuisinart of Shakespeare-isms: star crossed lovers, mistaken identities, impending war, prodigal sons, gender bending camouflage, royal bloodlines, etc… and it. was. FANTASTIC!!  I’ve extolled my love of the Bard here once before and you can bet your donkey headed fool it’ll probably happen again.


(photo via the company’s website)


My only previous knowledge of the show was that of a certain portion of the text that has been set by numerous composers over the years, most notably Gerald Finzi, Roger Quilter, and more recently, Stephen Sondheim.  I actually performed one of these versions on my Masters recital a couple of years ago when doing Quilter’s set of Five Shakespeare Songs.   (Forgive the medial quality of the video… it was thrown together for this post so dealz with it.)

Translation: E’rybody dies and ain’t no one better than the next. And with that, dear readers, I bid you goodnight until the ‘morrow!

Artist: Cole Porter/ Album: Kiss Me, Kate

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