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Showing posts from August, 2007

As You Like It CD out

The soundtrack CD from Kenneth Branagh's new As You Like It film for HBO is available now. The original music was composed for the film by Patrick Doyle who also scored Branagh's Hamlet , Henry V , Much Ado and L3 as well as many other films. The music includes Shakespeare's songs from the play such as "Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind" and "It Was a Lover and his Lass" that appear in the play without music, encouraging the songs to be set according to current fashion. In 2005 the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario produced an As You Like It with original music by Canadian band, Barenaked Ladies. Our Oberon group saw that production during a visit to Stratford that year. You can order the BNL As You Like It CD from BNL Audio. Setting Shakespeare's songs was also popular in the early part of the Twentieth Century. Roger Quilter and Gerald Finzi are famous for their atmospheric, English art-song, settings. My favorite CD is a compendium

Oxfordian theater critic

On our drive to Stratford on Saturday, Richard introduced us to an Oxfordian theater critic he had discovered on the web. According to his website, Bob Bows has been reviewing regional theater for over 11 years. His reviews are broadcast on KUVO 89.3 FM and published in The Denver Post . In an August 10, 2007 review of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival's All's Well That Ends Well , Bows had this to say: "Let's be frank: In Shakespeare, there are no problem plays, only problematic interpretations. The root of the issue is the refusal by entrenched academic and ancillary industries to acknowledge that many think Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the actual author of the plays, sonnets, etc. attributed to William Shakespeare." On his website, ColoradoDrama , Bows provides an essay explaining why he feels the authorship question has a place in theatrical criticism. He says: "It is of the utmost importance that we do not allow these misperceptions to c

Richard Rose dialogue on Merchant

Dear Oberon, Having no shame, I recently invited Richard Rose, the director of Stratford's Merchant of Venice, which some of us will be seeing Saturday, to share the event with us at dinner. I did this despite warnings from one of our esteemed members (you know who you are, Richard) that there were some problems with the production. In politely declining, Mr. Rose has some good answers although we won't have a chance to pose the questions. I thought the exchange might be interesting to Oberon. Mr. Rose has indicated that he is very comfortable discussing his production with us. With his permission, his reply and my reply to his reply follow. Tom Hunter, Oberon Chair In a message dated 8/22/2007 8:54:54 P.M. EDT, Richard Rose writes: Dear Mr. Hunter, Happy to see your presentation but not sure when I can actually read it as I am onto other projects. I think you will find that this Merchant adheres quite closely to a line by line interpretation (with a few obscurities removed).

Somewhat Obscure Humor

This is a cartoon that was sent around by E-mail to the Oberon members by member Joshua Rohlman and I am posting it here so it can get more widespread exposure. Josh is not really sure where it came from (someone sent it to him). I'm not sure what the original artist meant by it but, with the "ED" written on the coffee cup, I can make up my own interpretation. Unfortunately, Josh now lives in New Jersey (he used to be in Toledo) so it is not clear when we will see him again in person, but it's nice that he can keep up with us electronically. Thanks, Josh!

Oberon August report

In past years, Oberon has not often met in August, substituting an outing for a meeting. This year we are doing both. Some of us will be attending The Merchant of Venice in Stratford, Ontario this Saturday, the 25th. In the meantime, a gratifyingly good turnout appeared for the regular meeting on Thursday, August 16. Thank you to Sue, Linda, Mara, Robin, Rey, Richard, Tom, Joy, Barb, and Rosey for making it another enjoyable evening. There were three highlights in addition to our reliable Treasurer’s Report. The first was Linda’s presentation on the possibilities of the blog in which she created a entry for our Oberon blog on the computer in front of our very eyes. (See Aug. 16 photo and entry below.) Will the marvels of this electronic age never cease? In addition to being impressive, Linda’s demonstration showed us that blogging offers many possibilities and opportunities to Oberon, including facilitating communication among members; creating a record of members’ thoughts, activities

As You Like It on HBO

I was able to see the premiere of As You Like It at my sister's house here in Providence. She also taped it for me, so thank you to those of you who may have done this for me per my last E-mail. You should keep your recordings at put them to good use later. Anyway, for those who haven't seen it, I recommend it highly. You can check the link Laura provided in the previous blog for the schedule. I think it is very good. It sure beats what Branaugh did for Loves Labors Lost! This production is very lavish and high-spirited. It reminded me of Branaugh's Much Ado. The casting is good. Bryce Dallas Howard (recently seen in Spiderman 3 and movies by M. Night Shamalayan) was Rosalind. David Oyelowo (who has been in many movies, but I remember him playing Henry VI when the RSC came to Ann Arbor for the first time with their "marathon" production of all 3 parts of Henry VI and also Richard III) was Orlando. Alfred Molina and Kevin Kline had nice roles as Touchstone and Jacq

As You Like It premiers Aug. 21 on HBO

Richard said: "Kenneth Branaugh's new Shakespeare film, As You Like It , is premiering on HBO tonight (Tuesday) at 9 PM. It may also be showing at other times in the next week or so. It is set in Japan. It seems like it will be good, judging from the information on the HBO website. Apparently, HBO bought the rights to the film, so it won't be shown in theaters (at least in the US). It may come out on DVD later. We'll see." And Laura's husband provided this link to the HBO site , along with a schedule with show times from 8/21 through 9/2. Thanks, guys!

Oberons learn to blog

Oberons stare raptly at a computer wall-screen during an August-meeting, blogging lesson at Farmington Community Library.

August 16 meeting at Farmington Community Library

Dear Oberon, Don't forget our top of the summer meeting Thursday at the Farmington Library. Regular meeting starts at 6:45. Pre-meeting in the coffee shop about nothing in particular just to hang out for those who arrive early at 5:30. Linda will be taking us into the world of blogging, as we expand our Internet capabilities. There is a good chance that Tom Townsend will be back with a regular -- and prized -- feature of our meetings, the Treasurer's Report. If the other Tom can get it together, there will be a report from the Utah Shakespeare Festival as well as some direction for the Hamlet Project and a brief retrospective on the Jackson Experience at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, plus possibly a surprise or two. So the plate is full. Good things happen when we get together. See you Thursday! Tom

Our correspondent in Stratford

The following reports were sent to us by Oberon founder and Shakespeare Oxford Society board member Richard Joyrich. Thanks, Richard! WEDNESDAY August 1, 2007 Hi Oberoners, This is your Stratford, Ontario correspondent reporting in from my scouting mission in advance of our August 25th planned Oberon Invasion (well, there's only 5 people yet, but that can change). I have already seen two of the four Oxford (Shakespeare) plays on tap here, Comedy of Errors and King Lear. Comedy of Errors was fun, but I think that director Richard Monette went over the top in adding "funny bits". Once or twice for a gag is OK, but not four or five times. King Lear, directed by and starring Brian Bedford (as Lear) was very good, but seemed to lack some of the emotional appeal and "grandeur" of the 2002 production with Christopher Plummer. I still recommend it highly though. I will be seeing Merchant tomorrow and Othello on Saturday. I'll report on them after I see them. Now as