Saturday, October 29, 2011

Shakespeare Plays

Watching Ridgefield High School put on a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night made me remember how much I love that play. There aren’t many I can say that about.

While some would argue that Shakespeare was the greatest playwright of all time, others still would counter that it is doubtful he even wrote any of the plays. However, be what may be, there are only a small handful of his plays that I’ve enjoyed. Let me just go ahead and say that The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is not among them. It is boring as all get out and having to listen to our tenth grade English teacher read it from a prerecorded tape because, well, that’s just how she was, didn’t help matters as her monotonous tone simply seemed to drone on and on and on and…

However, Twelfth Night is among one that I’ve seen performed and enjoyed a few times now and never tire of it. Romeo and Juliet on the other hand I believe has been overdone. But I must admit that I really liked the 1996 movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. A fresh approach to an exhausted play can breathe new life and interest into it. And a really good soundtrack helps too. It was in this fresh approach that I was glad to see that costumes were not bogged down to period pieces. They utilized an eclectic mix of modern, traditional and cultural costumes to portray the various sects and it worked beautifully. Also the fact that the cast consisted of mostly female actors playing what were written as male roles still made the homosexual undertones of the play that much more hilarious.

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