Friday, January 7, 2011

Liev and other "Young Shakespeareans"

This wonderful video caught me on a day when cabin fever had set in hard. I'm so pissed that I live in a place where a gathering of this caliber will probably never occur. A city of only a million people doth not a Shakespeare Festival make, I guess.

Liev, ever gracious, rises to the occasion at the issue of Americans performing Shakespeare. He's somehow able to impart upon those less schooled that he's not a snob about formal training, but at the very least we should be able to expect a level of commitment via preparation from any actor attempting Shakespeare. I loved the way he said it. It made those actors who pick up the play just to learn their own lines (ahem, you know who you are) realize that they are not only doing a disservice to the work but also to themselves by shortchanging the fullness of the experience.

The revelation of the feminine ending and the discussion of Verse vs. Prose was amazing. The way Liev and Martha came to the conculsion that Shakespeare had constructed his plays by building in the performance was FASCINATING. Liev becoming verklempt after the 3 lines with feminine endings and no beat for breath made perfect sense. I had a long talk with my Dad (84) about it last night. He said in all his time studying Shakespeare, he had never heard it analyzed in such a profound and yet pragmatic way.

On the question of private projects, Liev's answer about Measure for Measure was very interesting. He seems attracted to the Problem Plays, which I am as well. They're less theoretical on the larger issues of the day (i.e.policital uprising) and more about the boiled down individual conflict. They also have a tongue-in-cheek, dark comedy feel where not everything is tied up with a pretty beau.

Like Paulie Gaultiere fruitlessly chasing the Chechnyan "interior decorator" through the Pine Barrens on Sopranos, some things are left undone. And that's okay.

I am curious, though. We know that Liev is a fan of the First Folio, leaving the ending somewhat open. I wonder which way Liev would have Isabella go? Does she accept the Duke's proposal not?

Either way, let's hope this dream becomes a reality sometime soon.

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