Monday, April 23, 2007

saw the production of Romeo and Juliet in which Erin played Tybalt. I'd never read the play, nor scene a production, but of course, one absorbs it. well, I read the manga yesterday, which used Shakespeare's words, tho not all of them. bowdlerizing Shakespeare is a common enough pastime. this is the 4th Shakespeare production by our homeschool cooperative, 1st for Erin. these productions go the mile as far as production values. a lot of work goes into costumes. I think it is excessive except that it gives the kids a chance to dress up. Erin's entrance was great. he's so big and his costume was angry red and he was all bold and ragey. the audience went whoop. swordplay with what are officially called boffers. the age range of the players is 6-17. some of the younger ones are grinning and staring at the audience. the audience is almost entirely parental, even tho there's a drive to post notices everywhere. if one likes theatre, one had ought to scope out such productions even lacking a child in it. just as you can see interesting sports events on the high school, little league and such level. I mean, it gives you a sense of proportion to see these events in these more intimate venues, and the occasional amaze when someone exceeds your expectations. Juliet in this production was remarkably good. a 13 year old girl, she gave great expression to her lines, and respected the music too. and without apparent effort. I'm amazed that these kids remember their lines. to really inhabit them is bonus. Romeo was also played by a 13 year old. his mother directed, and his 3 younger brothers and his older sister also had minor roles. he and his sister were in Mock Trial with Erin. his sister is very good in theatre and Mock Trial. the boy seems a little hyper active, so it seems like a feat to play Romeo. which he did quite well. an issue arose before production about whether R&J were appropriate for younger kids. there were issues even with the kissing, which in sooth were ever so chaste. as Beth noted, their farewell kissing after their newlywed night was quick on the order of see ya. some but not all the dirty bits were removed. as I said, Bowdler's legacy lives. the swordplay went on nicely and Erin died dramatically. Juliet's older sister played Capulet and was also very good. at Paris' death, Romeo dragged him from the byre. in doing so Paris' head cracked against the byre. Romeo tried to lower Paris' head to the floor but released early, so thok as cranium hit cement. Romeo's last kiss of Juliet was done with his butt facing the audience, something the director ought to rectify. not to hang on those sorts of things, but I think that's part of theatre that one can embrace. just as with low budget movies, as opposed to slick, adipose high budget productions. the curtain call had a neat touch. Mercutio and whatsisname step out then suddenly turn, draw swords and Erin burst thru the curtain with his sword drawn. I repeat, at 6'5" with hat and bold panache, and magenta red costume, he made a statement. Erin has one more performance this week. there are two different casts, and 4 performances total. I congratulated one boy I knew and asked him if he had fun. definitely he said no. Mercutio had a better role. which is true, that looked like fun.
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