Saturday, September 30, 2006

Men as women, woman as a man: Local theaters recast Shakespeare
Tony Brown, Plain Dealer Theater Critic
Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Cute headline

Hamlet With Eggs
Shakespeare's prince gets a sex change.
By Marge Perko
Cleveland Scene, 9/28/06

What if Shakespeare's most famous brooding prince were actually a princess? That is the question posed by David Hansen, who directs the gender-bending production of Hamlet that opens at the Beck Center tonight. "What if [Hamlet's mom] gave birth to a girl, and to insure the succession for the safety of the state, raises Hamlet as a boy?" asks Hansen.

Playwright Sarah Morton plays the titular role on a dark and sparse set, its design influenced by German expressionism as well as Hansen's desire for maximum impact and function. "I hate furniture," he says. "I hate it when people have to come in and take away a chair."

Props aren't the only thing receiving the director's cut: Don't expect any girl-on-girl action between Hamlet and Ophelia, because Hansen deleted references to their physical relationship from the script. "My editing creates a seamless whole," he says. "I want people to follow the story the way we're telling it."

It's true. I hate, hate hate furniture. Just last week I attacked a couch.

No more be done.

My work is through. The show opens tomorrow, and so whatever it was I have been trying to do, is done. And so ends the longest month of my life.

Rising at 5 most mornings to take a run, I would depart for work at roughly 7.30, and conduct rehearsals for the Great Lakes education dept. until 5.30. These rehearsals were in Lakewood, during rush hour (both ways) it would take an hour to get from Cleveland Heights to there, or back. Rehearsals for Hamlet were also in Lakewood, at the Beck. So I would stay in Lakewood - where my parents live, and were generous enough to host my entire family two nights a week so I might actually see my children awake. Some nights I just ate on my own.

Zelda was very patient throughout, though she obviously misses me. This last week the actor-teachers have been in schools and my schedule had a little more give. I am relieved my work at Beck is through. It helps that I have been working with such wonderful people.

The Reunion That Wasn't

It has been more than a month since the Bay High Class of '86 20 Year Reunion. At the same time that I enjoyed it better than the 10 year (I am mellower with much less to prove) it was also kind of a downer. For two reasons I can think of right off the bat.

The first, as I have recounted elsewhere, is the music. No, it doesn't have to be an 80s revival party, but get a clue. Either its period or contemporaru - or both, I will settle for both. But it was alsways either the wrong song or the wrong era - Hooters or Hootie, take your pick. Yes, we listened to Glass Tiger, but we don't need to be reminded of it. Why is it only in movies like Grosse Point Blank that they have music that was cool then and now playing at their party? I don't think I heard a single new wave tune that night, only middle-of-the-road rock.

The other, more personal reason, is that my best friend did not show up. I have never complained about his absence, and never expect his attendance at anything. It makes it all the more thrilling whenever he arrives. I last saw him in November, 2003 - he came to the final dress rehearsal of the last show I directed at the Beck ... funny I should remember that tonight.

But he had written us a message, that he might attend. He wasn't at the last one. People kept asking me where he was. When the DVD "slide" show came on, how many of those picures of either of us didn't have the other one in it? And that's where it kind of sunk in. He was my high school.

I was surprised at the interesting little conversations I got into that night with people I had never had a conversation with, ever, let alone just in the past twenty years. I even got to share one of my favorite stories to the guy who was in it, to his face. He knew the story, and so did Toni, but it was a joy to tell it to both of them, and his wife, at the same time.

But I've never really allowed myself to miss my friend. Until that night. And I am shocked to learn that it hurts.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Pre-eclampsia breakthrough hope

Scientists are claiming a breakthrough which could lead to a test and cure for the pregnancy disorder pre-eclampsia.

"The US National Institutes of Health team found women with pre-eclampsia had high levels of two proteins several months before developing the condition. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was compiled after analysing blood tests from 4,500 pregnant women. Experts said a cure and early test was still likely to be a long time away ..." (more)

Apologies for my absence, it has been a jam-pakced month. I will get back soon and report on a number of issues, including but not limited to my high school reunion, my brother's wedding, Hamlet, forensic competitions on the West Coast, IHT performance updates and all the rest ... maybe.

Thanks to Brian for the link. Nice, generic photo, guys.