much ado about nothing

LAST CHANCE to see “Much Ado About Nothing” at Tarragon Theatre!

There is just over one week left to catch Tarragon Theatre’s latest production of Much Ado About Nothing!

Much Ado About Nothing, Tarragon Theatre (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Much Ado About Nothing, Tarragon Theatre (Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann)

Beatrice and Benedict take on Brampton in this Bollywood-inspired adaptation of Shakespeare’s most clever comedy. Moving from comedy to tragedy and back again with razor sharp wit, a familiar story takes on new meaning when set in our own backyard. Classical text fuses with Bollywood in this larger-than-life spectacle.

Running at Tarragon Theatre in the Mainspace until May 31, there are only a few opportunities left to catch this amazing production!

Visit www.tarragontheatre.com or call 416-531-1827 to purchase your tickets today!

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The Shakespeare/ Whedon Connection

Today I’m going to do a blog entry about Joss Whedon and his connection to Shakespeare. For those of you that don’t know who Joss Whedon is, his most famous work is Buffy The Vampire Slayer, which was extremely popular in the nineties and early 2000s, ran for seven seasons, and reruns are still played on some local TV stations.

Joss_Whedonsanders-portrait

In 2012, Joss Whedon did a modern, movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. Yes, he did a modern adaptation of a Shakespeare play, but what else do him and Shakespeare have in common? Well…lots. The most significant link is the fact that there are multiple references to Shakespeare in Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Buffy The Vampire Slayer contains multiple direct Shakespeare quotations, and one of the characters shares the same name as a character from King Lear, Cordelia.

Choosing to include subtle culture references is an example of the one thing William Shakespeare and Joss Whedon have in common: they bring culture to the masses. Whedon and Shakespeare both wrote fairy tale like fables. These fables successfully appeal to the masses through creating stories that both fascinate the audience with their stories that are both from a world that’s different from the one that the audience lives in, and contains characters that the masses can relate to.

Shakespeare and Whedon’s common goal makes Dave Golder’s belief that, if Shakespeare where alive today he would write television scripts one hundred percent true. Yes, the language would have to be a lot less flowery to make the script Buffy proof, but Golden illustrates the language differences, and how this can be addressed by creating a list of famous Shakespeare quotes and showing us how Buffy character Xander Harris would say the same thing (see link to read Golder’s list ).

Shakespeare at the Movies- The Oscars 2014

The nominations for the 2014 Academy Awards are in, and I must say, there is some fierce competition for a statue this year!
Until the awards are actually given out on March 2, we can only speculate on the internet and join the office pool, guessing who will walk away a winner. In the meantime, we can dive into the nominees past works, and learn about the interesting and brilliant choices that this group of actors have made throughout their careers.

Seeing as we are a Shakespeare related theatre company, I have sifted though the careers of the nominees and compiled a list of some of the Shakespeare related works that they have been a part of over the years! Enjoy!

christian-bale-american-hustle

Christian Bale (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

chiwetel-ejiofor-12-years-a-slave

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Macbeth (1997 theatre production) as Malcom
  • Romeo and Juliet (2000 theatre production) as Romeo
  • Twelfth Night, or What You Will (2003 TV movie) as Orsino
  • Othello (2007 theatre production) as Othello

leonardo-dicaprio-the-wolf-of-wall-street

Leonardo DiCaprio (Best Actor Nominee)

Appeared in:

amy-adams-american-hustle

Amy Adams (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Into the Woods (2012 Shakespeare in the Park Production) as Baker’s Wife

cate-blanchett-blue-jasmine

Cate Blanchett (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Richard II (2009 Sydney Festival) as Richard II


*Fun Fact- This role was part of a show called The War of the Roses, which condensed all of Shakespeare’s historical plays into one 8 hour performance!

judi-dench-philomena

Judi Dench (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:


*Fun Fact- Judi Dench also performed with The Royal Shakespeare Company for many years.

meryl-streep-august-osage-county

Meryl Streep (Best Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • The Taming of the Shrew (1978 Shakespeare in the Park Production)  as Katherine
  • Romeo and Juliet (2012 Shakespeare in the Park Staged Reading) as Juliet

michael-fassbender-12-years-a-slave

Michael Fassbender (Best Supporting Actor Nominee)

Appearing in:

  • Macbeth (Currently in Pre-production) as Macbeth

sally-hawkins

Sally Hawkins (Best Supporting Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • Much Ado About Nothing (2000 theatre production)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2000 theatre production)

lupita-nyongo-12-years-a-slave

Lupita Nyong’o (Best Supporting Actress Nominee)

Appeared in:

  • The Winter’s Tale (Yale School of Drama Production)
  • The Taming of the Shrew (Yale School of Drama Production)

Have you seen any of these movies or performances? What did you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

What If Shakespeare…were a DENTIST?

Tooth Clip Art Welcome, young man (1). What! sigh for the toothache? Where is but a humour or a worm (2). Come, come, and sit you down (3). For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently (4).

Open your mouth (5). O horror, horror, horror (6)! Thou odouriferous stench! sound rottenness (7)! He lives upon mouldy stew’d prunes and dried cakes (8).

Give me that mattock and the wrenching iron (9).  [Strange and several noises of roaring, shrieking, howling, jingling chains, and more diversity of sounds, all horrible (10). Strange screams of death (11).] Be calm, be calm (12)!

The long day’s task is done (13); teeth as white as whale’s bone (14)! I will fetch you a tooth-picker now (15). Take leave until we meet again (16). Till then fair hope must hinder life’s decay (17).

1) As You Like It, V.iv, 256

2) Much Ado About Nothing, III.ii, 1223-4

3) Hamlet, III.iv, 2404)

4) Much Ado About Nothing, V.i, 2103-4

5) The Tempest, II.ii, 1171

6) Macbeth, II.iii, 835

7) King John, III.iv, 1410

8) Henry IV, Part II, II.iv, 1403

9) Romeo and Juliet, V.iii, 2959

10) The Tempest, V.i, 2296-98

11) Macbeth, II.iii, 825

12) Coriolanus, III.i, 1774

13) Antony and Cleopatra, IV.xiv, 3021

14) Love’s Labour’s Lost, V.ii, 2249-50

15) Much Ado About Nothing, II.i, 647

16) Henry VI, Part III, II.iii, 1070

17) Henry VI, Part III, IV.iv, 2258

Shakespeare re-arranged by Lisa

Image: http://www.clker.com/clipart-tooth.html

What if Shakespeare…were a PIRATE?

16940_flags_pirates_pirate_flag

[The Pirate’s Code]

I must obey (1). I drink the air before me (2). I’ll confine myself no finer than I am. These clothes are good enough to drink in, and so be these boots too. An they be not, let them hang themselves in their own straps (3). My commission is not to reason of the deed, but to do’t (4). When I was born: Never was waves nor wind more violent; and from the ladder-tackle washes off a canvas-climber (5).

Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, So do (my) minutes hasten to their end; Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend (6). I am not such an ass, but I can keep my hand dry (7). My very walk should be a jig (8).

My stars shine darkly over me (9), (and yet) my bounty is as boundless as the sea (10), (upon which) my drink and good counsel will amend (11). Heigh, my hearts! Cheerly, cheerly, my hearts! Yare, yare! Take in the topsail. Tend to the master’s whistle (12).

Ships are but boards, sailors but men; there be land-rats and water-rats, land-thieves and water-thieves (13). (But I am a) notable pirate (14). One foot in sea, and one on shore, To one thing constant never (15).

Our legions are brim-full, our cause is ripe (16). On such a full sea are we now afloat, And we must take the current when it serves. Or lose our ventures (17). (We) must obey (18).

1) Twelfth Night, III. iv. 299
2) The Tempest, V. i. 102
3) Twelfth Night, I. iii. 129-131
4) Pericles, IV. i. 88-89
5) Pericles, IV. i. 63-66
6) Sonnet 60, 1-4
7) Twelfth Night, I. iii. 65-66
8) Twelfth Night, I. iii. 115
9) Twelfth Night, II. i. 2
10) Romeo and Juliet, II. ii. 133-134
11) Twelfth Night, I. v. 43-44
12) The Tempest, I. i. 9-12
13) The Merchant of Venice, I. iii. 19-21
14) Twelfth Night, V. i. 63
15) Much Ado About Nothing, II. iii. 46-47
16) Julius Caesar, IV. iii. 221
17) Julius Caesar, IV. iii. 228-229
18) Twelfth Night, III. iv. 299

(Shakespearrr re-arranged by Vineeta)

Wordy Wednesday – “Neither rhyme nor reason”

‘I got my rhyme on my reason and my reason on my rhyme’…sounds like the start of a hit by rap duo, Rhyme2Reason 😎

The two nouns are synonymous with each other:

  • ‘Rhyme’ refers to a set structure, poetic metre, a correspondence between words.
  • ‘Reason’ is clarity, a logical cause, an explanation for an event.

So to have neither rhyme nor reason is to have no common sense.

The phrase occurs twice in Shakespeare’s works. First in The Comedy of Errors (1590), when Dromio tries to take the ease off his master’s scolding:

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE :
Was there ever any man thus beaten out of season,
When in the why and the wherefore is neither rhyme nor reason?

II.ii.47-48

And later in As You Like It (1600), as Orlando professes his love for Rosalind (who is disguised in the scene):

ROSALIND: But are you so much in love as your rhymes speak?
ORLANDO: Neither rhyme nor reason can express how much.

III.ii.398-399

In both cases, the phrase is used to express a situation that’s inexpressible. But the tone in HOW it is uttered, differs. Check it out…

Dromio mentions ‘neither rhyme nor reason’ to convey the meaningless use of the words, ‘why’ and ‘wherefore’. He utters it in a sarcastic tone to reveal an unintelligent situation. But Orlando utters ‘neither rhyme nor reason’ to express a love that transcends mere words. His tone is more uplifting, and shows that the emotion of love is beyond intelligent structure and logic.

While Shakespeare popularized the phrase, its origins can be traced before The Bard’s time. ‘Neither rhyme nor reason’ stems from the French term, Na Ryme ne Raison, with its earliest English usage coming from sources including:

  • John Russell – The Boke of Nurture, 1460 (‘As for ryme or reson, ye forewryter was not to blame…’).
  • Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) – The English writer utters the term while critiquing an author’s manuscript (‘Now it is somewhat, for now it is rhyme; whereas before it was neither rhyme nor reason.’)

By: Vineeta Moraes

Sources:
http://www.bartleby.com/100/125.32.html#125.note15
Rhyme nor Reason – http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/301500.html
Oxford English Dictionary – http://www.oed.com/
The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology  – George Latimer Apperson and Martin H. Manser
Common Phrases: And Where They Come From – Myron Korach and John Mordock

What if Shakespeare…were a WEATHER FORECASTER? (January Edition)

For Toronto, Ontario, Canada – January 7-13th

MONDAY:  Hideous winter… / Sap checked with frost and lusty leaves quite gone / Beauty o’ersnow’d and bareness every where (1). When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks (2).  High 0.

TUESDAY:  The blushing discontented sun / …perceives the envious clouds are bent / To dim his glory (3).  The more fair and crystal is the sky / The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly (4).  High 2.

WEDNESDAY:  Adding to clouds more clouds (5).  The winds grow high (6), the winds and persecutions of the sky (7).  High 5.

THURSDAY:   The sun breaks through the darkest clouds (8). To the brightest beams / Distracted clouds give way; so stand thou forth / The time is fair again! (9)  High 5.

FRIDAY:  A hot January (10) – This goodly summer with your winter mix’d (11).  The childing autumn, angry winter, change / Their wonted liveries (12). High 9.

THE WEEKEND – SATURDAY, SUNDAY:  Our day is gone; / Clouds, dews, and dangers come (13), cloud of winter showers (14), winter’s drizzled snow (15).  High 4 and 2.

1)  Sonnet 5

2)  Richard III, 2.3

3)  Richard II, 3.3

4)  Richard II, 1.1

5)  Romeo & Juliet, 1.1

6)  Henry VI, Part II; 2.1

7)  King Lear, 2.3

8)  Taming of the Shrew, 4.3

9)  All’s Well That Ends Well, 5.3

10)  Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1

11)  Titus Andronicus, 5.2

12)  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2.1

13)  Julius Caesar, 5.3

14)  Timon of Athens, 2.2

15)  Comedy of Errors, 5.1

Shakespeare re-arranged by Laboni