08 June 2008

How the Heat Wave Afftected My Weekend

* 1. Allison and I had been planning to line up for Hamlet tickets Saturday morning, but the promise of reaching 90F before tickets would be handed out, plus "scattered T-storms" all during show time led us to postpone. Saturday morning, on a lark, I put my name in for the 'virtual line' - online ticket lottery - and lo and behold, we won! It was still wicked hot during the show, but lightening in the distance in every direction never came over the Delacorte, and it was a pretty great show. Surely the funniest Hamlet I've ever seen. (Okay, and the only one, other than 2/3rds of the Mel Gibson movie.) Sam Waterston's Polonius is probably the highlight, alongside seeing two friends making their Shakespeare in the Park debuts. I dug the whole thing. I never know what to expect from Shakespeare in the Park, but I was very pleased.

(PS, check out today's Times article on Public Theater Artistic Director and my favorite lumberjack lookalike** in all the theatre world, Oskar Eustis. I personally think 'dreams really motherfucking big' is a good thing in an AD, but I am biased, because Oskar's a big part of why I do what I do in theatre, and also, he has this Aslan thing going on where I'm basically brainwashed. That's how Aslan*** worked, right?)

2. We're in tech for The Honest-to-God True Story of the Atheist, and by "we're in tech" I mean "other people are in tech and I come by with snacks and moral support." Isaac and I spent some of Friday night fretting that the theatre, a basement in the East Village, would not be air conditioned. It is. Strongly.

3. I didn't have to wait for my air-drying laundry to dry before putting it on.

4. I'm trying to be ecologically and fiscally responsible by eschewing air conditioning this summer. (My units are still in the windows - have been last summer - but I intend to use them as fans. Or window-blockers, in the case of the one with the broken knob.) I've got my curtains closed (and dark bedsheets hung over the sheer curtains in my bedroom) to keep the sun from baking my apartment, windows closed during the day, open with fans to get in cool air at night. Best innovation, though? Repurposing the cat-discipline spray bottle (which never works on Stella, anyway), and basically walking around damp all the time. Which works remarkably well. With the fan on me last night, I was actually a little chilly. Let's hope this resolve lasts past the first 24 hours.

this is Stella, plotting her escape, because she is difficult like that; this is also my herbs, before the dill died and the basil got weird; it is also an open window because this picture was taken before the oppressive heat descended on the city, turning my apartment into a dark place I wander in damp clothing, with a pink spray bottle in my hand, turned on myself. yay summer.

*For some reason, this picture makes it look like Hamlet is set on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. It is not, nor is it set anywhere else on the ship.

**Oskar's headshot back when he was at Trinity Rep featured, I believe, a plaid shirt and maybe was shot outside? And - I say this with nothing but love - he looked like a lumberjack. And was also the preeminent new play dramaturg in the entire world, and it was the best thing ever and I can't find it on the internet.

***Do I mean the lion or the pill?


Dan said...

Have fun in Denver! If you run into my friend Molly Metzler (playwright that works for TCG) give her my best!

Anonymous said...

Um, okay. Usually you're totally on point, but the Hamlet in the park is bad. Like really, really, atrociously bad. Maybe it was the heat. Or maybe it was the fact that you have never seen Hamlet before. But, funny is not my top priority when seeing a production of Hamlet. I mean funny is good, but not funny like this. This wasn't funny ha-ha. This was, "Isn't it funny how incompetent this is?" I think the fact that you site the performance of Polonius as the highlight of this Hamlet says more than I ever could. You shouldn't walk away from a production of Hamlet saying, "Wow. Wasn't that Polonuis something?"

Johnny said...

I fall somewhere between Jaime's approoval and anonymous's (who you?) outright dismissal. There were parts of this play that were truly special (they had names like Waterson, Harbour, and Ambrose), and moments that took my breath away (the scenes immediately before and after Laertes leaves, the relationship between Horatio and Hamlet) (though Stuhlbard, wihle sexy as hell, ultimately disappointed)). Ultimately, though, I felt the entire production was about Hamlet's madness/lack of madness, questioning that madness/lack of madness, and fucking around with the audience and their relationship to that madness/lack of madness. The play is about SO much more than is he mad, but every time I went somewhere else with it, it seemed the production forced me back to that question.

And yeah, Stuhlbarg/Oskar made some unconscionable decisions in terms of where the laughs lie.