Here's the Story….

Ok, maybe The Brady Bunch isn’t popular around the world, but here in the United States it’s firmly ingrained into our pop culture subconscious.  Mom always said, don’t play ball in the house. Anyway, anybody with a little trivial knowledge of the show has probably heard that Robert Reed, who played the dad, hated the show.  He fancied himself a serious actor and would often refuse to play certain scenes if he didn’t like the way they were written. What I didn’t know was that he was in the habit of writing lengthy memos to the producer detailing what he didn’t like about them.  And the best part?  He actually uses Shakespeare as the foundation of his argument.  In the linked memo he ultimately is complaining about an episode in which  Bobby, the younger boy, has sold some weird “hair tonic” to Greg, the older boy – and it turned Greg’s hair green.  So naturally, Reed makes the connection to Hamlet: Their dramatis personae are noninterchangable. For example, Hamlet, archtypical of the dramatic character, could not be written into Midsummer Night’s Dream and still retain his identity. Ophelia could not play a scene with Titania; Richard II could not be found in Twelfth Night. In other words, a character indigenous to one style of the theatre cannot function in any of the other styles. In the quoted site (TVSquad) I’ve already brought up Falstaff, though perhaps that is not the best venue to discuss it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Master of Puppets

[Once I catch up from the holidays I’ll have several book reviews, as well as details on what was under the Shakespeare tree.  This is just a quickie.] My daughters got a puppet theatre for Christmas, with puppets from Wizard of Oz.  So my daughter is putting on a show for us, which at 5yrs old consists of her holding up one puppet at a time, getting to the part where she says “What?  A bad witch?  Ahhhhh!” and then running away, and bringing out the next puppet. I couldn’t resist. “Well run, Dorothy!”  I yelled.  “Well roared, Lion!” “Thank you, Daddy,” replies my daughter from behind the curtain. “Well shone, Moon!” The whole family looks at me, confused.  There’s no Moon in the play! Oh, well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bill Bryson : Shakespeare, The World As Stage

Ok, so, maybe I’m a little neurotic about some things.  A friend got me the above-mentioned book, and I’m skimming the liner notes.  There’s a reference to Delia Bacon that says “who thought her namesake, Francis Bacon, authored the plays.” Excuse me? Delia Bacon did indeed think that Francis Bacon wrote the plays, but to the best of my knowledge they were no relation. So naturally, rather than read the book, I began the hunt for her section.  There’s neither index nor table of contents in the book, so I had to jump and skim to the logical place where she’d be mentioned.  Sure enough, it again called Francis Bacon her “namesake”, although in context it does mention that there is “no genealogical connection” between the two. Ok.  Phew.  I can actually read and enjoy the book now. ๐Ÿ™‚

Shakespeare Geek At The Improv

So this weekend we went to one of those Improv Asylum shows, where the audience feeds information to the actors on stage as they build a scene.  Think “Whose Line Is It Anyway”, with Chinese food. Anyway, we end up at the front and center table, so you just know we’re gonna get called on.  Last game of the night, they’re doing tv styles, and asking for suggestions.  Then he says movies, then he says playwrights. “Well, Shakespeare,” I call out. “Shakespeare’s a good one,” the leader says. “Kinda obvious,” I reply. “Any others?” he asks the crowd.  “Any readers in the audience?” Silence. “Miller?  O’Neill? Ianesco?” I offer. “One guy who reads.  Ok, we’ll just stay on him then.” They then go off and do the scene, which is entirely tv and movies until they throw in a little Shakespeare at the end. Afterward the leader comes by the table and says, “Thanks for being the only person here that reads.” “It’s kinda my thing,” I tell him.  “I sit here all night waiting for you to say playwright so I can yell Shakespeare!  Woohoo!” ๐Ÿ™‚

How Not To Link An Imageยงion=all&title=undefined&whichpage=1&sortBy=popular I grabbed this right away, as I’m a sucker for Shakespeare cartoons.  Romeo and Juliet as told by instant messages has been done a million times, but hey. Does anybody see the glaring problem with the above link?  It’s a shopping cart link for a poster sized print of a New Yorker cartoon that originally appeared in 2002.  Fine.  But…you can’t read the image.  So, if you never saw the original, you have no idea what you’re supposed to be buying. Or am I missing something?