Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shakespeare at Large

Last weekend I went to see Tina Packer's Women of Will, her one-woman show (with a side of Nigel Gore) in which she works through scenes with Shakespeare's women characters and throws in her interpretation of what Will thought about women over the course of his career. It was a thrill to see her work her way through the ladies, and I especially appreciated her scenes of the young Margaret of Anjou stomping on the battlefield with a bloody hankie. (I usually just think of her as that cursing old woman from Richard III).

Okay, now that you know I can and do haul myself out to cultural events sometimes, I can talk about Sunday's "Brothers and Sisters" episode. I know that this show jumped the shark many seasons ago, but I still tune in. (I had a stalker-size crush on Harrison Ford in the early '80's, so I can't really ignore Calista Flockhart now, can I?) Anyway, this Sunday Sarah's son Cooper -- who is maybe 10 years old -- was in a school production of "Romeo and Juliet." And the kids knew all the lines. Perfectly. And I don't care how hard Sarah worked on those costumes, those were professional-grade doublets.

Now, I used to direct middle-school plays in a hoity-toity private school like Cooper's, and I can tell you that it's ugly out there on the front lines. Kids showing up drunk 30 minutes before curtain; kids staring blankly into space; costumes scrounged together from sheets.

I know, I know, TV isn't "real." But, for the love of all those hard-working drama teachers out there, don't make it look so easy. I'm talking to you, Greg Berlanti and Michael from "Thirtysomething."

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