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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: New York CYMBELINE
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0766  Sunday, 16 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Chris Stroffolino <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Aug 1998 15:20:02 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0756  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[2]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Aug 1998 14:52:21 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[3]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Saturday, 15 Aug 1998 03:49:57 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[4]     From:   Catherine Fitzmarice <
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        Date:   Friday, 14 Aug 1998 20:49:44 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

[5]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Saturday, 15 Aug 1998 13:14:34 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Chris Stroffolino <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Aug 1998 15:20:02 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0756  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0756  Re: New York CYMBELINE

Thanks for the other comments on CYMBELINE (NY)....  In response to
those who raised the issue of Imogen's pregnancy. First time I saw the
play I sat too far away to even notice it, second time I noticed it. My
hunch is that it was the actress who was pregnant more than the
character, but I too am not sure....

In response to the doubling of Iachimo and Jupiter. Again, the first
time I saw the play, I didn't realize it was the same actor.  I think
the costumes were different enough to not make it obtrusive.  Then,
again, it's not a bad plot doubling thematically- since Jupiter's most
famous line is probably "who I love I cross" and Iachimo, as the one who
TESTS the deeply affianced quality of Posthumus' and Imogen's
love---have certain similarities...

One thing-I've noticed (and this may relate to the Japanese quality
others have pointed out) is that there's an awful lot of LYING on the
ground (the queen giving Pisanio what she thinks is poison, etc.) in the
play. Perhaps too much. Not nearly as much as a production of RICHARD II
I saw earlier this year in NYC, but I'm starting to wonder if this
"horizontal" method of acting is some new Shakespearean trend. I hope
not.

One last thing---I was not suggesting that CYMBELINE replace or supplant
THE WINTER'S TALE, only that in many ways it is quite as effective of a
play, even on the stage (I like that essay-is it by Roger Warren-on
Shakespeare in Performance series) and there are some very powerful
scenes. Imogen, in particular, seems increasingly one of Shakespeare's
most demanding roles for a woman when you consider the play in
performance....  The ending is long and tedious, but I think also quite
consciously funny. I stay with it until "let's quit these grounds and
smoke...  with our sacrifices" (if I were directing I'd only cut the
soothsayer part, I think). The audience generally did too in this
particular production. The many comic asides in this scene, the way it
almost forces me to cry and laugh at the same time, work quite well on
stage...

-----Again, happy viewing and all that, chris stroffolino

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Aug 1998 14:52:21 -0500
Subject: 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

>Is Andrei Serban the guy who directed an amazing 12th Night at the ART
>in Cambridge, MA, in 1990 or so? If so, glad to hear he's still going
>strong, and has tackled another of my favorite plays. The guy does
>wonderful stuff: scenically lush and inventive, yet amazingly close to
>the text.

Cannot resist putting 2 cents in here.  I mainly know Serban and
Serban's work from the opera world.  Sometimes he really does do amazing
stuff; I very much enjoyed a *Alcina* he did at New York City Opera in
1983-84, even though he did sometimes upstage the music and the text and
I wasn't quite sure why Alcina, who turns her former lovers into all
kinds of beasts, had apparently stuck to crocodiles.  But it was pretty
good.

On the other hand, I worked backstage at Lyric Opera of Chicago for a
*Lucia di Lammermoor* that was, quite simply, a disaster.  Poor June
Anderson was expected to hurl herself down 85-degree angles during her
Mad Scene, the set was an Infernal Machine, something like a mechanized
sandwich, that Alfredo Kraus simply refused to get on, and which
regularly ran out of control, etc.  The dress rehearsal ran waaay
overtime and it was the one occasion on which the director and designer
didn't stay for opening night and a bow. They simply didn't dare.

>And he doesn't labor under the delusion that he should cut things short.
>The 12th Night, as I recall, was well over 3 hours and slowly paced to
>bring out every nuance of the text, yet sustained interest over that
>longer span better than most "punched up" productions do over a shorter.

Quite true.  I don't remember his ever cutting or altering the music or
the text.  He has been known to work against it, though.

Sounds like it must be one of his better pieces of work.  Wish I could
see it.

Melissa Aaron
University of Wisconsin-Madison

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Saturday, 15 Aug 1998 03:49:57 -0400
Subject: 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

The actress is five months pregnant, so I'm told.

And I showed up at the Public at 12:15 for a 1:00 dispersal and got
seats today.

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Catherine Fitzmarice <
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Date:           Friday, 14 Aug 1998 20:49:44 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

Re the pregnancy: the actress herself is pregnant, and they chose not to
hide it.

Catherine Fitzmaurice

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[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Saturday, 15 Aug 1998 13:14:34 -0400
Subject: 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0761  Re: New York CYMBELINE

Oh wow. Oh wow. I saw it. Anyone in the New York Greater Metropolitan
Area, get your ass to the Delacorte. Andrei Serban is the first director
who ever made my teeth chatter. Tonight he did it again. I have no
higher praise.

And the production is so endlessly beautiful you hate to blink.
 

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