Saturday, November 27, 2010

Merkel tutors Cook

In her new website/weblog The Edward Oxenford Review, Marie Merkel responds to Shaksper electronic Shakespeare conference owner Hardy Cook's plea for strategies to counter interest in the Shakespeare authorship question generated by Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, a film on the topic that will debut September 23, 2011. In her post titled "Academic Response to Anonymous" Merkel presents Cook with a reading list of material and offers in closing:
Finally, I suggest that you portray the movie as Opportunity rather than Disaster.  Ridicule – of the film, of the authorship question, of Oxford himself – may seem to your students like a nervous defense against a devil you don’t dare look in the face.  The way I see it, anything you can say that will send your seeker back to The Bard’s ever-living poetry, with confidence in his or her own ability to discern the truth, may turn out to be a kindness long remembered. 
Sounds reasonable to me. I must say, when I saw the fury and hysteria generated by Stratfordians' fear of people questioning the traditional author, I couldn't help but wonder: Why so worried, gentlemen and ladies? If the Shakespeare authorship question is a foolish notion, only fools will be fooled. If Stratfordians are secure in their ownership of universal truth, let the unbelievers be damned.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shakespeare to music Dec. 1, 2010

I attended this University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance event last year and enjoyed it very, very much. 

Wednesday, December 1
Opera Workshop
E.V. Moore Building, McIntosh Theatre
7:00 PM
First year graduate students under Joshua Major and Timothy Cheek will present an evening of arias and Shakespeare monologues.
Free - no tickets required

SMTD Events Hotline

Monday, November 1, 2010

Plummer in The Tempest-Another Chance to See

Although it had been announced previously (in obscure places) I just found out that Bravo Canada filmed one of the performances of The Tempest this past season (which just ended last weekend) at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, starring Christopher Plummer. They have made a "movie version" of this and it will be showing this coming weekend in selected theatres in Canada, including one in Windsor.

The film will only be shown in at one theatre and at one time (at least in Windsor). It will be at 1 PM on Saturday November 6 at the Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall (3100 Howard Avenue, (519) 967-0197)

Information and online tickets are available at

Actually, there will be an encore presentation at the same theatre on Wednesday, November 10 at 7 PM.

I saw the live production this past season at Stratford and I thought it was very good (although not as exciting or provocative as the way it was done by Patrick Stewart in Ann Arbor in 2006).

When some Oberon members traveled to Stratford last August we were not able to see this production of The Tempest, so now is everyone's chance.

This film will probably eventually show up somewhere else (such as on the Bravo satellite channel or at another movie theater) in the future, but it might be fun to be there at its "premiere".

On a related subject (Christopher Plummer at Stratford) there will be a showing of Bravo's film of the production of Caesar and Cleopatra, starring Plummer, at Stratford during the 2008 season (yes, I know it's George Bernard Shaw, not Shakespeare) at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts at 2 PM on Sunday, November 7. Info available at

This film also had its premiere in Canada (including in Windsor) in 2008 and then eventually showed up in the US, so I would guess that the new film of The Tempest will "come across the border" later.

But why wait? Grab your passport (and your $19.95 for the ticket) and get to Windsor this Saturday.

Maybe you'll see me there (and maybe you won't).