1998

Re: Lincoln Center TN

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0821  Wednesday, 9 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Patricia Stewart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 14:25:56 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: Lincoln Center TN--pool exit

[2]     From:   Jefferson Cronin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Sep 1998 07:08:12 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0813  Re: Lincoln Center TN

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Sep 1998 19:17:30 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0813  Re: Lincoln Center TN


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia Stewart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 14:25:56 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        Re: Lincoln Center TN--pool exit

Could someone who has seen this production in the theatre tell me how
Sir Andrew exited the pool after he swam a few "laps."  Judging by the
laughter, the actor topped his swimming exhibition, but the TV camera
chose to look elsewhere. Inquiring minds want to know, etc.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jefferson Cronin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Sep 1998 07:08:12 +1000
Subject: 9.0813  Re: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0813  Re: Lincoln Center TN

Tom Dale Keever for President!  Alas, he's probably too smart to want
the gig.

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Sep 1998 19:17:30 -0400
Subject: 9.0813  Re: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0813  Re: Lincoln Center TN

Well, I sure hope Tom got to see Serban's Cymbeline; not a star in it.

And I loved that he was as blown away as I was by Andre Braugher's
brilliant Antonio, the best I've ever seen.

But Tom, Shakespeare's a crapshoot. Most times, most of every production
you'll see is dreck, and then every now and then you get to walk out
feeling lucky just to have been there.

Tom, did you see A.J. Antoon's samba-sweet version of Midsummer Night's
Dream at the Public? I hope you did. We lost Antoon to AIDS so there
won't be any more from him.

Lots of silly factors dictate the quality of a play. While you rail
against Disney (and justly so, I'll bet money), remember they gave Julie
Taymor the freedom to create a Lion King so spectacular that hardened
theatrical professionals (who never see anything they have to pay for)
fell all over themselves actually buying tickets for beloved relatives.

And the one who was showcased in the Twelfth Night you were complaining
about was Braugher, the unknown from Juilliard.

When Joe Papp announced his intention to do a full cycle of all the
plays, his phone began ringing off the hook. The stars themselves were
calling, begging to be cast in the plays dearest to their hearts.
Sometimes it even worked out.

But Meryl Streep wasn't a star when she did the Delacorte Katherines in
Henry V and Taming of the Shrew. Who'd heard of Raul Julia or Michael
Moriarty or Kevin Kline or....? A few of those people, showcased in
Shakespeare, went on to other glory.

And if Helen Hunt wants to risk failure by going from screen to stage
and not the other way round, good for her. Shakespeare will survive. So
will we.

Re: Globe Merchant

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0820  Wednesday, 9 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 15:11:22 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

[2]     From:   Penelope Rixon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 16:48:55 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

[3]     From:   Mike Sirofchuck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 09:21:44 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

[4]     From:   Frances K. Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 18:38:25 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

[5]     From:   Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Sep 1998 19:58:26 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 15:11:22 -0400
Subject: 9.0815  Globe Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

Harvey Roy Greenberg writes

> Despite what some critics have said in mitigation, perceiving a
> tenderness or depth  of spirit that I submit is totally lacking this
> time around, the Globe's Shylock is thoroughly repellant, portrayed as a
> hooknosed vengeful materialist, and the famous "Hath not a Jew...."
> speech is spoken in the spirit of justifying his monomaniacal lust for
> revenge. The audience, by no means all British, many tourists from a
> variety of countries, hooted him, and applauded the Venetians in general
> and "The quality of mercy is not strained..." in particular. They got
> thoroughly in the spirit of the thing- which reportedly is par for the
> course in other Globe villain/hero scenarios.

Exactly. For several years the Globe's has had spokespersons telling
people to come and cheer or hiss during the performance. The binary
responses to H5 were bad enough, but in MV this treatment clearly rides
roughshod over the subtlety of the thing.

That said, I don't think Northrup Kentrup intends his Shylock to seem
like a "hooknosed vengeful materialist". Wasn't the problem really that
the subtlety of the show was lost on the pre-conditioned audience?

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Penelope Rixon <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 16:48:55 -0000
Subject: 9.0815  Globe Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

Harvey:

I found the performance very disturbing, for precisely the reasons you
mention.  In fact, I left at the interval, not only because of the tinge
of anti-Semitism, but because I found the whole production depressingly
vulgar and crude.  As some of the postings during the summer have
lamented, the relentless we-must-involve-the-audience ethic that reigns
at the Globe is flattening and simplifying much of the work done there.
I suspect also that the management failed to realise that the booing &
hissing which was merely irritating in last year's Henry V had far more
sinister overtones in the case of a play as sensitive as The Merchant.

Penny Rixon

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mike Sirofchuck <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 09:21:44 -0800
Subject: 9.0815  Globe Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

I agree with Harvey Roy Greenberg's assessment of the Globe production
of TMOV this past summer. The Globe's Shylock is thoroughly repellant,
portrayed as a "hooknosed vengeful materialist." I was one of those
tourists hooting, hollering, cheering and booing - it is, after all, a
"comedy".  It was clear to me that this Shylock was meant to be a
caricatured, stereotypical Jew from the physical features (big nose,
etc) to his accent.  Does this diminish the anti-Semitism?  No - in fact
it may make it even more subversive.  But, I enjoyed the hell out of the
show (the Globe experience was not a "play" - it was a show in the sense
of continuous and varied entertainments) and I do not find myself
thinking anti-Semitic thoughts or any more or less prejudiced against
Jews than before I went into the theatre.  It's always a shock when we
discover that writers we revere have human frailties.

Mike Sirofchuck
Kodiak High School

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Frances K. Barasch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 18:38:25 EDT
Subject: 9.0815  Globe Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

For H.R. Greenberg: the last Shylock I saw in London was Dustin
Hoffman's who took a lot of spit in his face in the course of the play.
This among other cruelties of Christians mitigated Shylock's villainy by
showing his enemies as not much better.  That may be a way to go.  At
any rate, Hoffman's interpretation didn't rankle me as much as
Shakespeare's text itself.

Frances K. Barasch

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Sep 1998 19:58:26 -0700
Subject: 9.0815  Globe Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0815  Globe Merchant

> Again, I would appreciate reactions, opinions, et cetera. I know this is
> very old territory, and we have heard all the arguments pro and con the
> status of Shylock's goodness or badness before, but this was a very new
> and fresh experience.
>
> Thanks
> Harvey Roy Greenberg, MD

Dear Harvey Greenberg,

I am one who agrees with A.L. Rowse that the Dark Lady of the Sonnets
was Amelia Bassano Lanier, daughter of one of Elizabeth's Court
musicians. There has been a good deal of research done on the Bassano
family by music historians, as they were the largest single group of
Court musicians, occupying well over half the seats in Elizabeth's
consorts. Recent work by David Lasocki, Roger Prior and others shows
that the Bassanos came to England to work at the Court of Henry VIII,
stayed, multiplied, and prospered at the English Court until the Civil
War.

The Bassanos came to London from the town of Basano not far from Venice,
where they worked at the Courts of the Doges as players and quality
instrument makers.  Early in the fifteenth century the family had moved
to Venice from Sicily, where they had gone along with so many other Jews
after the banishment from Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella. That the
Bassanos were Sephardic Jews is shown, not only by their movements from
place to place, following the general route of migration of many
banished Jews, but also by their crest, three moths and a mulberry tree,
signifying the production of silk, the chief occupation of the Jews in
Sicily after they left Spain. The Jews faced a good deal of persecution
in Venice (where the first "ghetto" was built, both to contain them and
to protect them from the Venetians), which is no doubt partly why the
Bassanos took up the English King's offer of a place at his Court. No
doubt they had to convert to Protestantism, as Jews were not allowed
into England otherwise.

Amelia Lanier is known today as the first woman to publish a book of
poems of her own composition under her own name in England, and it's
pretty darned good poetry, too. She shows a delightful awareness of
herself, as a poet, a person, and a woman. After the death of her father
she was raised in an aristocratic household, and at some point in her
teenage years, became the mistress of Henry Hunsdon, the Lord
Chamberlain, the patron of Shakespeare's acting company. References to
her in the notebooks of Simon Forman, the astrologer, reveal a person of
great physical attractions.

I believe that the frequent use of the name Antonio and Amelia in
Shakespeare's plays shows Shakespeare's strong connection with this
undoubtedly highly educated and cultured family. Antonio Bassano was
Amelia's uncle, clearly during his maturity the patriarch of the family,
as he had seven children, five or so becoming court musicians.

I believe that Merchant of Venice was Shakespeare's way of dealing with
his conflicted feelings about Jews. There was the prejudice bred into
his entire culture by centuries of Christian anti-Semitism, and there
was the reality of the cultured, Italianate, musically gifted,
physically attractive people that were his friends and with whom he
worked to produce his plays. MOV also includes a passionate defense of
music. There's more to the story. If you're interested, you can post me
privately.

Stephanie Hughes

Re: Weird Tales and Used Books; Fathers and Daughters

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0818  Wednesday, 9 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Curtis Perry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Sep 1998 08:45:49 -0700 (MST)
        Subj:   Weird Tales and Used Books

[2]     From:   Terence Martin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 08 Sep 1998 11:08:21 -0500
        Subj:   Fathers and Daughters


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Curtis Perry <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Sep 1998 08:45:49 -0700 (MST)
Subject:        Weird Tales and Used Books

To Amy Ulen and ayone else looking for used books.

I looked up _Weird Tales from Shakespeare_ in the used book database "MX
Bookfinder" and found several used copies for sale ranging from $5 -
$10.  All bibliophiles should know of this site: it is a great database
of used book dealers' stock.

 http://www.mxbf.com/search/

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Martin <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 08 Sep 1998 11:08:21 -0500
Subject:        Fathers and Daughters

We should also note that the father's right to bestow his daughter in
marriage was a serious religious responsibility.  A poor marriage
against the daughter's wishes could lead to infidelity for which the
father would be responsible.

Terence Martin

Re: Things British

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0819  Wednesday, 9 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 12:15:41 -0400
        Subj:   Re: Things British

[2]     From:   Patricia Cooke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Sep 1998 07:50:57 +1200
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0816  Q: Things British

[3]     From:   Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 09 Sep 1998 08:43:29 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0816  Q: Things British

[4]     From:   Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Sep 1998 05:38:41 -0400
        Subj:   SHK 9.0816  Things British


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 12:15:41 -0400
Subject:        Re: Things British

Tom Berger asks

> 1. What's does the expression "How's your father?" mean.  I could tie
> this to all the "Here comes . . . " entry warnings in the plays, but I
> think I would be way off track.

A bit of "how's your father" means a bit of sex. I think it comes from
the farce cocktail-party motif of a middle-aged man 'chatting up'
(=hitting on) a woman young enough to be his daughter. Just as he's
getting particularly specific, someone who mustn't hear him (wife, boss,
etc) comes within earshot and he changes from a low conspiratorial tone
to a loud, for-everyone's-ears, "so, how's your father?" So, what he
ends up saying is something like "how about you and me go back to my
place for a little...HOW'S YOUR FATHER?"

Gabriel Egan

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Patricia Cooke <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Sep 1998 07:50:57 +1200
Subject: 9.0816  Q: Things British
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0816  Q: Things British

For T Berger

Sorry I can't help with QEII.

I expect you will get lots of replies to your inquiry about "How's your
father?" but here's another.

It has two meanings that I know of.  One is as a euphemism for sexual
activity as in "there was some how's your father going on in the back
seat of the car" or wherever.  This probably derives from the other
usage, as a stand in for something you've forgotten like
"whatchermaycallit" or "thingamajig", or to fill in an awkward gap in
conversation.  Don't know what you mean by ' "Here comes'" entry
warnings', unless we're being VERY bawdy.

You could of course say it to someone you met whose father had been ill,
as a perfectly sincere inquiry.  The difference is in the intonation-
and the context.

Pat

Patricia Cooke, Secretary & Editor
Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand Inc
97 Elizabeth Street Wellington 6001 New Zealand PH/FAX 64 4 3856743

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Peter Groves <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 09 Sep 1998 08:43:29 +1000
Subject: 9.0816  Q: Things British
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0816  Q: Things British

In C20 slang, it means "hanky-panky", as in "A bit of
how's-your-father"

Peter Groves,
Department of English,
Monash University,
Melbourne

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Terence Hawkes <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Wednesday, 9 Sep 1998 05:38:41 -0400
Subject: Things British
Comment:        SHK 9.0816  Things British

Dear Tom Berger: The answers to your queries are as follows:

1. 'How's your father?' is a corruption of 'Hal's your father', a
street-cry common amongst the lower orders in London during
Shakespeare's lifetime. It refers to the legendary sexual appetite said
to be visited upon all heirs to the British throne, a myth on which
Shakespeare evidently draws quite freely. In Scotland a similar legend
attaches to the figure of Robert the Bruce (Brute?) generating the
phrase 'Bob's your uncle'. Neither is to be confused with the phrase
'How's your mother off for dripping?' with which the cockney residents
of London traditionally greet police officers. American visitors to the
capital are urged to try this salutation. The officer will normally
respond with a centuries-old English gesture of good fellowship, by
placing his hand firmly on your right or left shoulder. 'Dripping', as
you may know, refers to the liquid fat obtained from roasted beef.
Spread thinly on toast, this used to be regarded as a great delicacy,
slyly urged upon the working class by its masters, until its high
cholesterol content became public knowledge.

2. Queen Elizabeth 11's true name is Brenda. She was never Princess of
Wales. However, when she was heir to the throne there was a rumour
amongst the Welsh that she was a man. Scholars believe this has
something to do with the institution of the title 'Prince of Wales' (the
Welsh were promised a 'man' who could speak no English), and the
regretable surgical procedures undertaken by Welsh women after Owain
Glyn Dwr's victory at the battle of Bryn Glas (recorded by Shakespeare
in 1 H1V). Her Majesty prefers to be known by her true name, and will
graciously wave to those who use it, as many newsreels show.  Welsh
citizens are permitted to call her 'Arthur'.

That'll be five pounds, please.

T. Hawkes
Cultural Materialist to the Court of St. James.

Re: Caesar's Will

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0817  Wednesday, 9 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 07:24:11 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0811  Re: Caesar's Will

[2]     From:   Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
        Date:   Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 11:39:04 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0811  Re: Caesar's Will


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Swilley <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 07:24:11 -0500
Subject: 9.0811  Re: Caesar's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0811  Re: Caesar's Will

Whatever the value of the drachma or talent or "dolor,"  doesn't the
context of the remark sufficiently indicate its relative value?  In this
case of Caesar's will,  Antony's intention is to stress the generosity
of Caesar to a public that Antony is trying to sway in dead Caesar's
favor.  We should therefore conclude:  "It's a lot of money to a common
man of Rome; the crowd is impressed."  Need we more?

In this, I am reminded of a recent question about the "real" poison
Romeo might have used  to do himself in.  The answer?  It's the kind of
poison that has the effect that the director wants it to have; it's
available at any director's "drugstore."

L. Swilley

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Sohmer <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Tuesday, 8 Sep 1998 11:39:04 EDT
Subject: 9.0811  Re: Caesar's Will
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0811  Re: Caesar's Will

Dear Friends,

Those who wish to delve deeper into the Renaissance value of money will
be entertained by thumbing "Handbook of Medieval Exchange" by Peter
Spufford, published in 1986 by the Royal Historical Society. The
conversion rate of Venetian ducat into the dyperpyra of Epiros (p.291)
will leave you panting for more.

Steve Sohmer

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