evannichols (evannichols) wrote,
evannichols
evannichols

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Shakespeare is SO hard to do....

Ushered the Sunday matinee of ART's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." One so rarely gets to see Shakespeare produced in the original Vietnamese. As we say, Now We Know.

I'm not saying it was a BAD production. The major stylistic choice was to use actors, music and costumes from Vietnam, and a fair percentage of the dialog was in Vietnamese (frequently translated on a reader-board above the stage). This is no worse an artistic concept than "King Lear in Space" or "Rollerdisco Hamlet", really. I rarely get through a Shakespearean play without getting restless, though, usually approaching the 2 ½-hour mark when there's still a bunch of talking to be done, and this was no exception.

I was working up a whole rant about this in my head, but I just don't have the strength. I will say to future directors of "Midsummer," if you're going to have Puck prance, cast a trained prancer! He's got to be so gleefully wound up that he can't HELP but prance about, otherwise it looks like he's thinking "Right, here's the bit where I prance!" and we, The Audience, are thinking "My god, Man, what are you doing? Is that prancing? Ewww!"
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