Theater Double Feature
2013-07-06, 11:02 p.m.
For the past two nights, I've been seeing a double feature of plays, if you will. A little local theater company here is doing repertory, switching back and forth between doing The Importance of Being Earnest and Love's Labour's Lost. They're doing the show on this adorable little deck on campus that I've ah, spent a lot of time hanging out on, and they put up a little stage-area on top of it. The seating is surrounding the "stage" area, with some seats up on some kind of risers and some even are in the trees. It's really cute.
I think I definitely preferred Earnest more, it's more my style. I read the play ages ago in high school, but it definitely clarified things more for me to see it live. I can now confidently recount the plot as: "Two dudes both pretend to be named Ernest to woo chicks who insist on only naming guys named Ernest. Naturally, the ladies meet and find out they're engaged to the same dude. The good news is, they're engaged to different dudes! The bad news is, the guy they think they're engaged to doesn't exist! Plus there's a lost baby plot!"
I enjoyed a lot of the actors--I was especially impressed by Jack and Algernon (of course, you have to cast them well), and Cecily for pulling off a sweet but totally crazy woman who's already gotten herself mentally engaged to a dude she's never met. And broken up and gotten back together with him before she even meets the "dude" and he proposes. And Lady Bracknell, of course. My favorite bit was the muffin scene. I found myself muttering, "Hold on to that muffin there...."
As for Love's Labour's, I hadn't seen that particular Shakespeare before, but figured I'd get my annual "summer Shakespeare" done here, it's a comedy, what the heck. It's definitely an odd one. Four dudes of the royal court of Navarre swear to abstain from women for three years (and fast a lot, and only get three hours of sleep a night, but I don't think that's gonna fly). THAT'S NOT GONNA GO WELL. Especially when you know that four hot ladies from France are coming to visit. The program explained to the audience (a) the horns/cuckold jokes, and (b) that the princess of France was going to get the deed back to the Aquitaine, but that's just a plot excuse and not important.
Anyway, four hot girls show up, the dudes are all drooling. And the girls find it incredibly amusing to make fun of them for dressing up as "Muscovites" (their gay best friend/aide guy finds out about this ahead of time), so the ladies, who have all received Valentine's trinkets from their respective dudes, all put on masks and trade favors so the guys will woo the wrong women. Then when the dudes come back in their regular outfits, they rag on the Russkies. Then everyone sits down and randomly starts watching a play and making fun of everyone in it. Yes, even in the 1500's, human beings had the urge to go all MST3K on people. Then for no good reason, the princess's dad dies and they have to go back to France, and tell the dudes they have to wait on them for a year to prove their love. Then everybody sings a random song and that's the end. Yes, that does bring out thoughts of "Where's the sequel?" (I guess no one but the Doctor knows) and "Huh?"
I was especially impressed that the guy who played Jack was also playing (another major lead) Berowne. That is a LOT OF HEAVY DIALOGUE to be memorizing in two plays at once, dude. Wow. He also pulled off frock coats (especially the leather one) very well. I forgot to mention that LLL was also done in steampunk style, which delighted me and even when I didn't get where the dialogue was going, I could stare at the lovely, lovely outfits.
Anyhoo, it was all very entertaining. If you live in my area, I'd suggest checking them out. Plus you get a discount if you go to both shows!