Thursday, June 07, 2007

Musical Interlude

While my sister was visiting we saw the opening performances of two plays; one a musical and one a modern Shakespeare. The first was Oklahoma! and it was a lot of fun, if a bit dated in theme: singing and dancing cowboys with lariats, jealous lovers, giggly girls, a strangely incongruous Middle Eastern peddler. But, the singing and the dancing were extraordinary and made it into a fun spectacle. The musical performers at the Stratford Festival are wonderful, and this one showcased many, many of them. It put me in mind of the large cast which would be necessary to do Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - also a bit of a dated play but one I would love to see put on. I love, love, love the movie and wonder how it would translate to the stage. Maybe someday...

The other was Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. I enjoyed it, more so than my sister as I'm more of a Shakespeare girl. But this one was only slightly stuffy - in fact there were so many gags, a literal song-and-dance routine, a live dog on stage, directorial self-referential jokes, etc. etc. that it felt more like vaudeville than the Shakespearian stage. Not to say I didn't like it; I found parts quite funny, with Bruce Dow as one of the Dromios exceptionally notable. Perhaps if you are able to 'get' the in-jokes it would be funnier. It feels like a big wink at the whole tradition, and although some people got their knickers in a twist over it, I thought it was entertaining, which is kind of the point of this type of theatre, to me. Although I am just a blogging audience member, not a critic... As a friend of mine said, the critics will hate it but it will sell out; he has certainly been proven correct in his first prediction!

Theatre-going made for a couple of entertaining evenings. We also spent an evening or two watching movies, such as Music & Lyrics which we found hysterical since we both spent our formative years in the 80's. Hugh Grant is simply hilarious as a has-been music star and Drew Barrymore is sweetly scatterbrained. I would watch this one again just for the mock 80's music video it opens with. Very amusing and witty screenplay.

I have many comments to catch up with, and much reading to report on. I'll have to catch up a little later, after Book Expo Canada , and a visit with fellow Toronto area bloggers this weekend. Looking forward to a busy and bookish weekend!


  1. It sounds like you had a great time. I am a huge fan of musicals, I admit. My mother's favorite is Oklahoma and I got to see it performed on stage several years ago. My high school choir also performed it one year--I was only in the chorus. :-) Like you, I would love to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers on stage.

    I also liked Music and Lyrics. It was quite entertaining. :-)

  2. I've always liked musicals but have become a huge fan in the past couple of years, under the influence of my coworker who is a theatre fiend and knows everything about musical as well as classical theatre. She has introduced me to a few new musicals I didn't know before; Jane Eyre and Ragtime are my current faves. Oh, and the 26 times she saw Into the Woods also rubbed off - I like it too.


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