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Showing posts from July, 2007

Death of Rabbi Wine

Following is my e-mail to Rev. Harry T. Cook in response to his oped column in today's Detroit Free Press (Tues., July 24, 2007) about the death of his colleague Rabbi Sherwin Wine, popular local speaker and internationally recognized creator and leader of Jewish humanism. Tom -------------------------------------- Dear Rev. Cook: I was frankly disappointed when I heard Rabbi Wine a year or two ago. Yes, the room was filled with an adoring audience. Yes, his personable, energetic presentation demonstrated why they adored him so. He was telling us about Shakespeare, and though he is an expert and knowledgeable in many areas, he was out of his element here. He was relying on a recent biography, which like so many recent Shakespeare biographies was written to capitalize on the unlimited interest in that playwright and poet even now, 403 years after his death. For reasons I won’t get into here, these biographies have not advanced our knowledge about Shakespeare one iota beyond wh

Oberon report from Jackson

Dear Oberon, Another wonderful day at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson yesterday (Saturday, July 21). We saw two excellently produced and acted plays (with some reservations from our ever perceptive group), Henry V and Macbeth. But then we knew that. The work by the Festival troupe has been reliable in the past and continues to be so. We picnicked behind the Ruth Day Theatre Building, munching on Linda’s delicious VG fried chicken and watermelon, various treats from Rosey, and our picnic lunches. The theatre office was kind enough to send out a welcoming ant. The good news was that he was very small and that there was only one of him. Linda led a planning session for our Oct 25 meeting featuring Lonnie Morley, the Shakespeare herb lady, who describes how her research into Shakespeare’s use of herbs in his plays and poems leads us to Edward De Vere as the true author. We dined together between plays at a local restaurant suggested by Mary Matthews, the festival’s managing

Michigan Shakespeare Festival

Nine of us spent a glorious day at Jackson Community College yesterday for our excursion to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. Richard called the festival a gem and I agree with all my heart. This venue never fails to stimulate. Although I am not nearly so well traveled and experienced as Richard and Tom and others, among us we have seen dozens of companies all over the U.S. including world-beaters like the Stratford, the Royal Shakespeare and the Guthrie and we always agree that the Michigan festival can hold its own with any of them. (In fact, we often like it best – and that’s not jingoism talkin’.) The day started a noon with an impromptu book festival in the parking lot. Richard – helping a friend divest herself of her Oxfordian library – generously loaded the books in the back of Tom’s teleportation van and invited us to help ourselves. I came away with Ruth Lloyd Miller’s 1975 edition of A Hundred Sundrie Flowres: From the Original Edition of 1573 and Gertrude Ford’s A Rose by

Complete works today, Fri., Sat. and Sun. in Ypsi

The Hats Off Players will perform “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Wingfield at 7:30 p.m. July 12, 13, 14 and at 2 p. July 15 at Riverside Arts Center , 76 N. Huron St. in Ypsilanti. The two-hour production presents “. . . a rowdy romp through the entire Shakespearean canon of 37 plays, using 3 guys and over 100 wigs and props, in just less than two hours. You will witness Othello turned into a rap, Titus Andronicus as a cooking show and the history plays as a football game,” according to the promotional material. Tickets are $10-20. For information, call the arts center at 734-480-2787. Linda

Master of Verona & MI Shake Fest '08

Last night at the Ann Arbor District Library actor/director David Blixt said he would be signing his new book, Master of Verona , (St. Martins, 2007) in the Ann Arbor downtown Borders at 7 p.m. July 25. Blixt directs the Scottish play and plays the lead in Michigan Shakespeare Festival's production previewing July 17 and running through August 4 at the Michael Baughman Theater on the campus of Jackson Community College. Blixt's book is an historical novel that might be described as a sort of prequel to Romeo and Juliet. The reviewer in Publisher's Weekly said: "The precipitous ending, marked with dizzying revelations by the protagonists, do nothing to mar a novel of intricate plot, taut narrative, sharp period detail and beautifully realized characters." St. Martins has bought a second book in the series; Blixt said the second book will follow the life of young Mercutio. Also at the library event, Michigan Shakespeare Festival Director John Neville-Andrews sai

Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson

To all you are joining Oberon for our annual pilgrimage to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson , Most of us will be attending two plays, Henry V at 2 PM and Macbeth at 7:30 PM (note the time). As Tom has written above we plan to meet on the grounds of the Jackson Community College for a picnic lunch and then go for dinner. I have included directions at the end of this post. We were planning to go to dinner at Azelea's (formerly Tom's Grill), but when I called their number it was disconnected. They are not listed under Yahoo Yellow Pages either. I can only conclude that they have gone out of business, maybebecause they hosted an Oberon gathering last year. So we need another place to go for dinner. There probably is a new restaurant where Tom's, then Azelia's was, but I have no way to find out about it now. There are other restaurants along Michigan Avenue (the same exit as Azelea's was, but west of US-127 instead of east) such as Bob Evans, Ponderosa, some

John Neville-Andrews at A2 Library

Anyone attending the Michigan Shakespeare Festival may be interested in the appearance of festival Director John Neville-Andrews and cast members at the Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth Ave.) from 7-8:30 p.m . on Monday, July 9. They will discuss and perform scenes from their upcoming production of the Scottish play. I'm not sure if I can go, but it sure looks worthwhile. Linda

July Fourth in Utah

It is the 4th of July and the fireworks are over. We (Rosey, I, my brother Jerry, his wife Dianne and my other sister-in-law Margie) just had lunch with James Newcomb, who we saw last night at the Utah Shakespeare Festival as Coriolanus. James Newcomb is the best. We talked about Oxfordian connections to the play that are important to him, as well as much else about acting, both Shakespearean and non-Shakespearean. He did an amazing Coriolanus, a really tough role in a really tough play, which is probably why it's not produced all that often. We will see him tonight as Kent in King Lear. I'm still pinching myself. See you all soon. I hope that it will be at our own Michigan Shakespeare Festival in Jackson on July 21. Happy 4th! Tom