Can We Call Him Puff Shakey? Or Maybe Shake Daddy? The Globe Theatre is starting a record label?  Different. The first album, Elizabethan Street Songs, will be released next month. Featuring historically researched tunes performed on sackbut, archlute, hurdy-gurdy and other period instruments, Elizabethan Street Songs is a musical interpretation on the not so genteel world of the Elizabethan street musician and singer. I could see releasing an album or two, but a whole record label?  Really?  Let the gangsta rap jokes begin.   West side!


Yikes, I’ve been tagged.  The meme is “six unspectacular facts about myself”: 1) I don’t really care much for Shakespeare.   Nah, just kidding. 1) I watch pro-wrestling.  Always have.  Remind me to tell you all sometime about the match that had Shakespeare in it, and no I’m not kidding.  (See below) 2) I have just one sibling, a brother who lives in New Mexico. 3) My caffeinated beverage of choice is Diet Pepsi.  Never drink coffee, can’t stand the stuff.  At my day job last week when there was a particularly early breakfast meeting, I came in and saw that somebody had supplied bottles of Diet Pepsi along with the bagels. ๐Ÿ™‚ 4) My daily commute to the day job is 90 minutes – each way.  I drive to a train station, and then walk from the train station to the office.  I have a whole blog on the subject over at 5) I can solve a Rubik’s Cube on demand, but I’ve never read a book on how.  Well, that’s half true, I recently got one for Christmas and decided to start researching how to solve it for speed.  I also prefer to do Sudoku puzzles in pen, starting with the hardest ones I can find, and never write down those little cheating hint numbers.  If you don’t know for sure that 9 goes there, don’t write it down.   If I screw up a number I consider the puzzle failed and move on to a different one. 6) I bite my nails.  Horrible habit.   Who can I tag, let’s see…..let’s tag Gedaly of, Main Man at, Angela at, Craig at, Christine at  and …. hmmm….  oh what the heck let’s see if Alan wants to play at   ObligatoryShakespeareContent:  So there was this character whose gimmick was that he’d graduated Harvard, and was the only professional wrestler to do so.  Thus he was a “heel” (or bad guy), who wandered around telling people how much better he was than everybody else, because of the Harvard thing.  So he’s in a match with one of the old veterans, in what they call a “hardcore” match where a garbage can full of props is brought into the ring.  It’s not just steel chairs anymore.  Sure enough, out comes a complete human skeleton, which promptly gets shattered and goes flying.  Harvard man picks up the skull, stares at it, then gets down on one knee, holds it up and shouts “Alas, poor Yorick!”   And then the other guy smacked him with a leg bone. How can you not love it? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hamlet 2 : Electric Boogaloo The reviews are coming in for Hamlet 2, and they are very very good.  Excellent!  Maybe I’ll actually get a chance to see the silly thing. Is it geeky of me to be bothered everytime somebody says “everybody dies at the end of Hamlet”?   That’s not even partially true.  Ophelia and Polonius die well before the end, and Osric, Horatio and Fortinbras are still around at the end. Some interpretations have more bloodbath – didn’t Brannagh choose to kill Osric?  And I remember hearing of one production where Fortinbras’ line “Bid the soldier’s shoot” was actually an order to execute Horatio. But on the flip side, there already is at least one sequel to Hamlet – somebody wrote a play about Fortinbras and how he is haunted by the ghosts of everybody who died in the first one.

Usain Bolt Stops To Recite Hamlet During 200m I thought it was funny :).  For those not watching the Olympics, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt made news of himself this week by running his race so fast that he actually celebrated during the 100m race and still broke the world record.  He then did it again in the 200m, breaking another world record.  The man is quick like a bunny. There was a story on about the IOC being unhappy with him for celebrating instead of going back to congratulate his opponents immediately upon the finish of the race.  I liked the commenter who said, “The problem with this is that immediately upon the finish of the race, the rest of the racers still had 20 meters to go.”

Gnomeo and Juliet News

[Thanks to Angela for commenting on the original as well.  I had this one flagged to post but she beat me to it!] We have to go all the way back to April 2006 to find reference to Gnomeo and Juliet, Elton John’s animated feature that takes place in a world of “tacky garden gnomes.”  Apparently the project is alive and well, as The Hollywood Reporter has news of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt in negotiations to do the voices. I’m not as keen on this project now that my kids have already seen an animated Romeo and Juliet.  If they already know the plot and the characters, but not the original text or the real ending, what can animated gnomes bring to the table?  Anybody think that Mercutio-gnome buys it in act 3?

18 Shakespeare Adaptations At first I thought this list was going for movies that were other than “original text in a different time and place”, but he includes Luhrman’s R+J, Ethan Hawke’s 2000 Hamlet, and others that I would have considered relatively tame interpretations. Most are old favorites easily recognized, like Ran, Throne of Blood, Forbidden Planet and so on.  However, I did find a few I’d never heard of, including “Men of Respect” (a gangster Macbeth starring John Turturro) and “Happy Campers”, apparently a teen-sex comedy done up as an “airy, Midsummer Night’s Dream farce.” Bonus points for mentioning the cult “Tromeo And Juliet”, which you’ll either recognize immediately if you know the Troma work, or you’ll have no idea what’s going on.    I never saw that one, but I do remember hearing about a quote that stuck with me – “How about I use your guts to Jackson Pollock the street?”  I remember thinking, “Now, see, there’s a creative image.” Quote of the article, re: Prospero’s Books… Among its many virtues: Prospero’s Books is a dream come true for those who think that what Shakesepeare’s plays most lack are dozens and dozens of shots of male genitalia. Between that and Ian McKellen’s King Lear, what is the fascination with Shakespearean actors getting naked?

"Julius" Coming To The Big Screen I was going to say “It’s been awhile since somebody did a Julius Caesar movie”, and then went to IMDB to see exactly how long.  Turns out that somebody’s making one due out in 2009, too.  Granted that one is out of Hong Kong and I’d likely never get the opportunity to see it, but still. Julius is based on a graphic novel from Oni Press about a “London crime king” and the generals who conspire against him.