Chaos Attraction

Much Ado About Austen

2019-06-23, 10:15 p.m.

I didn’t do much on Saturday besides hike around the greenbelt and try to memorize my lines. I also watched a version of Much Ado About Nothing shot at the Globe in 2011. I didn’t bother to take notes because well, it was actually good and not super freaking ridiculous like the As You Like It films. B&B were very fun to watch in traditional form and I liked the actors.

Then after that I started watching the David Tennant/Catherine Tate 80’s beach/Navy version (apparently done literally at the same time as the other one), which I am loving. David Tennant in particular is fucking brilliant hammy crazy comedic and very Scottish. Look at his damn outfit in the masquerade party scene--you would not recognize him. (Who’s he supposed to be? Madonna with a pig nose?) Meanwhile Beatrice is one of the Blues Brothers, apparently. And the scene where he’s overhearing everyone talking about him, while stumbling about, hungover, and getting himself somehow covered in white stuff? Bwah. Not to be outdone, Catherine Tate somehow gets herself hanging from the ceiling and yo-yo-ing up and down in her version. Also, good use of revolving stage, silly drinks, charades-type drawings, a tiny keyboard Benedick can’t turn off and has to have a kid turn off, and Benedick driving an obnoxious golf cart. Oh, and there’s a STRIP SHOW and combo bachelor/ette parties going on. I give them props for attempting to re-enact the “cheating” scene n the dark and hazy smoke with a veil on, but wouldn’t Margaret notice something weird about the guy yelling out, “HERO!”? Or is this just more people in Shakespeare being plot blind?

As for Act 2, Hero is seriously wearing Princess Di’s wedding dress, and was dressed as Princess Di in the masquerade scene. This amuses me. The dress is so big that Catherine Tate literally drapes/hides herself in the train. I do think that while I appreciate Claudio’s grief and guilt, having him about to shoot himself on stage is....a bit much though. But it ends on a great dance number with the best rendition of “Hey Nonny Nonny” I ever saw. Also, Tennant using his leg as a guitar.

Much Ado is my favorite Shakespeare, followed by A Midsummer Night’s Dream (As You Like It is my third). I’d love to be in it as Beatrice, but even I wouldn’t cast me as her--I’d probably get Margaret at best there. Likewise in Midsummer I’d shoot for Helena but probably should be one of the players. What’s the dumbest part in that one? Wall? Probably that one.

As for Sunday, I did more hiking around trying to memorize my lines (26, plus a “ditty”--Shakespeare did not intend that many lines for me) and being not really sure how to handle that. I can figure out everyone else’s parts. I know how to act like a modern Valley Girl dumb blonde bimbo. I am not at all sure how to deliver “Your features! Lord warrant us, what features?” (hate that line, whatever the hell that’s really saying beyond “you have features?”). I think I need to bug Cameron for Shakespeare help at some point. Y’know, whenever the hell she has free time as the female character with the most lines in Shakespeare :P

On my way home finally, I came across a wishing tree in which kids had written on gift-tag shaped papers and tied them to a tree. However, the tree was out of tags and ties. I had a notebook and pen on me so I attempted my own, but for once I hadn’t dragged my knitting around with me while hiking and thus had no ties. I poked holes in the paper and tried to tie it on with pine needles, which did not go so well. A fellow and his kid came up and the guy more or less propped it up in the tree for me (I was a little embarrassed by that but...oh well) even though he said it wasn’t likely to stay on. I gave him and his daughter paper so they could add in their own wishes.

Incidentally, a lot of the wishes were stuff like “I wish for a million cats” and “I want to ride a dinosaur.” Good luck with that. The daughter wanted to wish to have enough of what she needed every day, so good job with that one.

After I went home and was looting through my closet, I coincidentally found an old price tag along the lines of the ones there that was originally on...whatever, so I rewrote my wish and went over there again to put the tag on. My original one was still on there, which surprised me because I thought it would have long since fallen off.

We’ll see.

What did I wish for? What do you think? :P And does it matter?

I spent the afternoon driving out to Rancho Cordova for a free show of Pride and Prejudice in an outdoor amphitheater in a park. I have to say that well...isn’t that kind of an “indoor kids” sort of show, what with the costumes and all? Indeed it was. Last night they said they had 250 people, but today’s 4 p.m. matinee was taking place during 102-ish weather in a mostly-not-too-shady area, so there were about less than 50. Also the intermission ended up being a half hour because they had to cool down the actors with ice packs and make sure none of them fainted. (Also, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who was only in about two scenes, was wandering around outside in a tank top and short skirt the rest of the time. Can’t say I blame her.)

They had sign language interpreters this weekend, which thrilled me greatly. They had FOUR of them at this show, an older dude, a middle-aged dude and two younger women, to do all the parts. Most of them didn’t act too much (thought the ladies did act out the crying), but the younger of the two guys REALLY clearly felt simpatico with Collins and acted the hell out of his parts. I also talked to another sign language interpreter in the audience who said she used to knit but had to give it up for the job. I’ve heard that before from others.

The show was generally very good, except for the miscasting of Wickham. I don’t know why that guy got the job (I would have swapped him out with the other younger guy playing Fitzwilliam, as that guy was slightly more interesting) because Wickham is supposed to be cute and super charming and this guy literally had no charm or spark and just looked like he was sulking all the time. Don't think he smiled even once.

Everyone else was good. Collins was particularly annoying, so he did a good job. Darcy and Elizabeth pleased very much and after she told him he was the last man she could marry, someone yelled out “Woo!” in the back and my neighbor and I clapped. I actually spotted someone I knew in Gumbo in the show once I read the program--I did not recognize her between the new hair and let’s face it, playing a much bouncier part (Kitty) than her usual serious personality. I didn’t bother to talk to her after the show since we weren’t particularly close and all I did was throw her around in a dance circle :P

I was also amused reading the program that there were two Jennifers in it and THREE girls with similar names: Taylor, Taryn and another Taylor that clearly had to go by “Tay” so as to keep track, and they were all listed next to each other in the bios. I liked how the girl who played Mary quoted Mary’s lines and then asked for a book recommendation in her bio. Lady Catherine’s dog was also in the bios, of course.

It occurs to me that the two shows I watched all weekend are fairly similar: both feature one super sweet innocent angelic character getting wronged in love, and potential lovers who fight all the time.

When I got home, I found out about this. ‘Nuff said.

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