Thursday, August 26, 2010

Shakespeare at Large

Well, it just so happens that I took my daughter last weekend to see Shakespeare & Co.'s Richard III in Lenox, MA. This might explain why I'm especially sensitive this week to the plight of the younger sibling. I mean, look at this guy. Does he look especially happy to you? Yeah, he has the crown, but all he really wants is his mother's attention and approval. And that's not gonna happen. Case in point: I was taking my older child to see the play while my younger child got to run errands.

Anyway, the traffic on the Mass Pike was disastrous, so we missed the first hour, which gets me as mad as this guy looks. I'd really sold my daughter on the show by talking up how bizarre the second scene of the play is, where Richard is able to woo Anne over the corpse of the man she's mourning for — and that everyone knows he's killed. So much for that, since we missed it, but we still caught the last 2 1/2 hours, which were excellent.

What I love about this production is how it plays on the theater of politics. The scene where the Mayor and Buckingham "convince" Richard to be king by enlisting the audience's/citizens' support is worth the price of admission. As is the final nightmare scene where Richard is molested by the spirits of those he's killed. John Douglas Thompson's Richard uses his deformity as a weapon, brandishing his withered arm and lugging his hump around like a boulder on the verge of being catapulted.

So, if you get a chance, and can stomach the Pike traffic, head to Lenox. The show runs through Sept 5th.

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