Friday, November 1, 2013

Much Ado -- posted by Mom

We've been busy with John's rehearsals for Much Ado About Nothing in Newberry, so we neglected to post.  He's Don John, the villain.  Unfortunately the director doesn't want a smoldering Don John but rather an explosively angry Don John.  Our phlegmatic John will actually be forced to act as a consequence.  I've thought of stomping his foot or twisting his nose, but I can't imagine ANYTHING getting John explosively angry... except perhaps if I stomped Sarah Grace's foot or twisted her nose... but I can't actually do that, now can I?

Oddly enough John had never seen Much Ado About Nothing even though it is an Allen family favorite comedy (at least the Kenneth Branagh version).  Funny how something thought to be a beloved family experience is something the Young Guns were either too young or not yet born to remember.

Unfortunately everybody hates Keanu Reeves' Don John.  I think he was supposed to be smoldering but, to me, he came off as just plain dull-witted.  So poor John has no one to imitate.  The first performance is next Friday so I'll let you know.  And I won't spare his feelings.  You know me, Gru's mom, as they say.

Here are the latest Rick Steves' episodes we've watched:

Fifteenth-century Florence was the home of the Renaissance and the birthplace of our modern world. 

In this second of a two episodes on Florence, we’ll enjoy more of the exquisite artistic treasures of the city that propelled Europe out of the Middle Ages. 

We decided on Duolingo for our French studies (thanks Will!).  It is soo much fun.  If fact, Billy is going to take French with us (Gary thinks google translate has already made him fluent so I don't think he feels the need).

Imagine this: After seeing Semiramide (the 1990 version from The Met with Marilyn Horne), we promoted it like crazy to Billy.  (Mr. Lane's graphic design business is right there at Covent Garden by the Royal Opera House in London, yet Billy has never been to an opera!  For shame.)  Anyway, Billy happened to be flipping through a bunch of miscellaneous DVDs and lo and behold he saw it!... accidentally!... at a good price!  Only, Billy calls it Semilolmide.  Anyway, this opera is the most beautiful production I have ever seen.  From the rich set and costumes, to the orchestra, awesome singing and acting, everything was just gorgeous.

Did I tell you that on Valentine's Day, unbeknownst to either of them, Sarah gave Billy a ticket to the Royal Opera House and Billy gave Sarah lovely opera glasses?  (Or "binoculars on a stick," as it were.)  It was like The Gift of the Magi... sorta, but not really, yet a really cool exchange nevertheless.

Oh I can't wait to see Don John's long skinny legs in tights with the fitted doublet with high standing collar, falling band, wings, tight sleeves, cuffs, dipped front, peascod belly and skirt of medium tabs; unpaned trunkhose with canions and codpiece.  In other words, I can't wait to see his spaghetti noodles dangling from those Shakespearean puff pants!

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