Monday, January 2, 2012

how fleeting is the pleasure

The things we did we'd do again:

Pelleas & Melisande @ MET: Having a soft spot for insane polymaths, I suppose I'm one of those people who tend to like Jonathan Miller productions, even in their variability. And I love this production. And I loved this cast.

Diary of a Madman @ BAM: Geoffrey Rush in anything, and this was quite something.

King Lear @ BAM: Under Michael Grandage's direction, and done the Donmar way, which is to say as bare-bones as possible and still have sets and costumes. Derek Jacobi was all the focus but Ron Cook's Fool was the first one I've seen that ever made sense, and that alone was worth the trek.

Niobe @ BEMF Boston: Philippe Jaroussky and Amanda Forsythe, an insanely complicated plot, feather volcano hats, Beethoven Medusa shields and, I've said it before but I'll say it again, sparkly glow-swords. Every production should have them.

Acis & Galatea @ BEMF Great Barrington: The conceit is a masque at Cannons, the forty million dollar trophy mansion of Handel's patron the Duke of Chandos, and Handel has shown up with his librettist homies to put on a show. Duke and Duchess get to play the leads. John Gay gets to be the Monster Polypheme. Poor Handel gets to be Damon and sing "How fleeting is the pleasure that flatters our hopes in pursuit of the fair..." wistfully at his, alas, totally hetero boss. 'Twas very sad. But beautifully sung, and I wanted everybody's clothes.

The Winter's Tale @ RSC Armory: What Othello has a whole play to do, Leontes has to manage in the space of one set speech. Greg Hicks, he's yer man.

Atys @ BAM: Long-awaited, unexpected, perfect.

If there could be only one? Probably The Winter's Tale. It was that good.


  1. Good list. What a take on Acis & G. Did you review that Winter's Tale? I must have missed it if you have.

  2. Winter's Tale comments short form and long form

    A&G would be my second choice by a hair, especially because in its Great Barrington iteration they could use the Niobe set -- the only time this opportunity arose, I think -- and since Cannons was all about landscape architecture, this was a nice addition.