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Showing posts from January, 2013

When it Rains

When It Rains By Anthony Black Produced by the 2b theatre company At LaMaMA
The 2b theatre company is from Nova Scotia. They appeared at LaMaMa this month, with a play by its artistic co-director Anthony Black called When It Rains.
The concept of When it Rains is promising. A series of misfortunes befall Alan, our hero - monetary, medical, marital, et al. By contrast, his brother-in-law Louis surrenders to misery when his wife tosses him out (which seems to me to be a considerable misfortune, but the script gives him no sympathy). In the play’s thematic climax, Alan accuses Louis of “choosing misery”.
The production’s defining strength is its lighting design, which is masterful and striking. What’s more, three of the four performers give us subtle acting, emotionally grounded. Marc Bendavid sings Ne Me Quitte Pas with delicious self-pity on the part of the character and wit on the part of the actor.
Unfortunately, the story advances itself by unsubstantiated action. Mr. Black (who als…

Twelfth Night OP

Off-off-Broadway's Shakespeare OP Players recently mounted a very admirable production of Twelfth Night. As it always should be, it wasn’t necessary to understand the lines to appreciate the play. The interpretive choices were clear and the actors excited the text with a vibrant stage life that was eloquent in itself.
The accomplishment was all the more appreciated because the actors are speaking Shakespeare’s English – or original Pronunciation (OP).
Our linguistic ancestors the Anglo-Saxons spoke Old English from about 500 AD. Around 1100, with the Norman Conquests, it morphed into Middle English. From about 1500, with the Renaissance and all, the transformation into Modern English began. Words lost many of their grammatical endings (some remain, such as the ‘s’ at the end of plurals). Word order became more important.
Shakespeare’s language was Early Modern English. Of course, we can’t be sure how it was pronounced, but we can estimate pretty reliably through linguistic reconstruc…