Saturday, October 24, 2009

Canada and Shakespeare

Tonight. tonight,
The world is full of light,
With suns and moons all over the place.
Tonight, tonight,
The world is wild and bright.
Going mad, shooting sparks into space.

Yeah, I'm in Stratford, Ontario. Theresa is responsible-- not for me being here, but actually for my going to West Side Story, which, duh, I saw the film, so why go to the play.
But she emailed me and told me that if I was stuck in Canada (long boring story, no arrest, however, but that wouldn't be boring) I should see plenty of plays-- you know, Stratford is worldclass theatre-- really-- better than Broadway, I swear, and if you're in New York or New England or the Midwest, it takes only eight hours and a passport --

Anyway, saw West Side Story with a theatre-full of high school students, and it was wonderful, and they were wonderful-- they laughed at the jokes and applauded every number and gave the cast a standing ovation and restored my faith in live theatre-- they cried at the end and I was amazed to find myself crying too-- I mean, really, a 50-year-old musical based on a 400-year-old play based on a 2500-year-old myth (remind me about Shakespeare parodying himself in Midsummer), and here are a bunch of cynical facebook teenagers, and they LOVED it. And so did I (though I have always thought the funny Officer Krupke song should have been in the first half rather than after the tragedy). It's wonderful seeing plays surrounded by teenagers-- they are so REACHABLE-- they care. But of course, this story was told for them. And live theatre is made for teenagers-- reckless and intemperate and in the moment.

Anyway, thanks to Theresa for the sage advice and the calming down (I was a little panicky, just a little, when I thought the only way home involved a bus dropping me at midnight in downtown Detroit...) (okay, REALLY panicky), and I will be home eventually (after Midsummer Night's Dream, A Funny Thing/Forum, Macbeth... really, this is just the best theatre in the world, and so close!).
And here for you is more reason that Youtube totally rules:

Bernstein rehearsing Jose Carrera in Tonight. I can't help it... I love this song.

Alicia (still stuck in Canada-- did you know it's another country? You need a PASSPORT!!!) (Yes, I have a passport, but-- no, really, it's too boring to explain, and Theresa's already heard it all, and she's been really patient...)


Jenny said...

"A Funny Thing..." is my absolutely all time favorite musical ever. I am SO envious!

Steena Holmes said...

Enjoy Stratford! I grew up a few hours away and spent my summers checking out all the quaint homes and the plays. Why stay at a hotel when you could find a F&B place with a hot tub? LOL When I graduated from highschool, instead of going to prom, I convinced some friends to spend the weekend in Stratford instead. LOVED IT!

Now I'm jealous ... and I wanna know why you are stuck in my country without a passport (seriously, needing a passport between US & Canada is ridiculous in my opinion!)

Kelsey (Dominique) Ridge said...

I am slightly jealous of you, because Stratford really is that awesome. If you're still stuck in Canada (and I refuse to believe that such a story could possibly by boring), their MacBeth is very good.

MrsMusic said...

Friends of mine - originally from Boston, but long in Montreal now - went to Stratfort with their grandchildren this August, the grandchildren being 13 and 16 years old. They spent 10 days there, seeing one or even two Shakespeare plays every day, and the girls completely fell in love with Shakespeare! One is now convinced she wants to be an actor, the other is collecting all the old-fashioned words she didn't know before. Shakespeare truly rocks, even after hundreds of years!

Edittorrent said...

I do have a passport, see, but my son was going to drive up and see some plays and drive me back home, and he got the flu, so... so guess what? You can't rent a car and take it across the border! Anyway, I finally found a way to get home, and it'll only cost $500 (or more). But if the season weren't ending, I'd stay. It really is a wonderful festival, and I'm amazed that a country with such a small pop could produce so many good actors.

Forum was amazing. Okay, the trouble with live theatre, you can't hit rewind and watch it again!! But that makes it special.

And it's great to watch the kids love it so much. At Midsummer's Night's Dream, they were howling with laughter, and they leaped to their feet to do an ovation. What a great bunch. (And the actors too, of course-- many of them weren't a lot older!)

Dave Shaw said...

Alicia, inquiring minds want to know: Do they do Shakespeare with a Canadian accent? I'm picturing Macbeth saying "She should have died hereafter, eh?" ;-)

No offense to any Canadians reading this - I actually enjoy the accent. Really!