BRUSH UP YOUR SHAKESPEARE by Thomas Putnam
Do you know the song from the musical KISS ME KATE called “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”? It's a fun song that incorporates a whole lot of titles from the Bard's list of 36 (or 37...or 38...or...) plays. The musical, itself includes a play within a play, in this case Shakespeare's THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. It's a clever weaving of the basic SHREW story as the characters in the musical almost parallel the characters in SHREW. I've been thinking a lot about Shakespeare lately for a number of reasons.
First, HG is opening a version of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW on March 3. (Don't miss the opening night reception following the performance on Thursday!) It's the story through and through re-told in “modern” English. If you've had trouble in the past with iambic pentameter, try this production out. Though we miss the poetry, we get all the humor and plot situation that has intrigued audiences for over 400 years. It's in the Coolidge with re-configured seating...and you get to see real-life couple Natalie and Titus Himmelberger duking it out.
I'm also thinking about Shakespeare because the following play is the comedy INTO THE BREECHES which tells the story of a community theatre that decides to produce Shakespeare's HENRY IV and HENRY V without any males to play the roles! They are all off fighting in WWII. The play by George Brant wonderfully weaves in much of the glorious language of these two plays as the cast of women rehearse for the Henriad. We're in rehearsals for this one which opens April 1.
And I'm thinking about Shakespeare because our summer theatre arts camp for kids is SHAKIN' UP SHAKESPEARE. We'll be jumping into all sorts of things Shakespeare...and we'll be singing “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”!