Portia Placino

Repository of my thoughts and images of art, literature, travel, and life.

Portia’s Casket (Oddities) | Voices News for the Week of August 24

A repost of my weekly column for The Shakespeare Standard, Wednesday Voices. See the original post here.

Much oddities to Shakespeare’s voice today…

Choices. Remember the Choose your own Adventure books? Well, now we have choose your own ending. Imagine if Romeo decides to go back to Rosaline instead of going after Juliet, will he have a happy ending then?  Which will you choose, a powerful but tragic ending with Juliet, or a simple, happy and contented marriage with Rosaline? Though the re-interpretation received mixed reviews, it may be interesting to wonder the “what ifs” of the Bard.

What ifs. What if you experience Twelfth Night steampunk style? Ironically sponsored by Bronxville Women’s Club, Pipe Dream marries the conflicting industrial and Victorian styles, even adding a touch of western air.  Carla Young says that “Actors performed on a sparse set, which included only a couple of chairs and a small table, and were illuminated by subdued decorative lights wrapped around a number of trees in the courtyard of the Women’s Club. The evening’s biggest round of laughter was awarded to ‘Malvolio,’ who despite the despair caused to him by fake love notes purported to be from Olivia, was an audience favorite throughout the show.”

Rap, hip hop and soul. Shakespeare as the original rapper? PETA (Philippine Educational Theater Association, “noted that just like today’s rap hits, Shakespeare’s works are based on beats, rhythm and rhyme. ” The play, “William features 10 original rap songs composed by Jeff Hernandez which are a mix of various genres such as rock, soul, funk, RnB and hip-hop. It also utilizes FlipTop, a form of rap that is becoming more popular among today’s Filipino youth.”

Naked Bard. The oddities continue. If Shakespeare is deemed boring by some, imagine if his play are recited by girls. Beautiful, sexy and naked girls. New York’s Greenwich Village houses the Naked Girls Reading group. In an intimate, boudoir-type room, wine is sipped, literature is read and a “full frontal literature” is delivered. Sapphire Jones, a member of the cast, prompted strong emotions upon dedicating a Shakespearean text to her grandmother. The burlesque-inspired literary performance also reads from Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and Ibsen’s A Doll House

ClassesSurprising, or oddly enough, lot of students are still interested in Shakespeare today (despite the lack of naked girls). Sometimes, they are inspired by a brilliant mentor. Professor Dennis Huston’s Shakespeare on Film, is only offered once every two years and is very popular among the student. He practices Socratic-style discussions as well as delivers powerful lectures. This is enough to inspire student to enroll in a 7:30 am class and discuss about Shakespeare. The end of the term also results in the class’ own Shakespearean performance.

Oddities. There are a lot of oddities in the Shakespearean world. Its not always the straight, formal, Elizabethan theme that pervades the ordinary imagination. It is for all people, of various shapes and sizes, in every way possible, even in the oddest of the odd voices. Let’s admit it, sometimes, its even more interesting that way, the odd way.

What other odd voices have you seen or heard of the bard today? 

Are you interested in joining The Standard’s volunteer staff? Check out our current staffing needs. If one of our roles sounds perfect for you, email our Managing Editor today!

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2011 by in Shakespeare and tagged , , , , , , , .

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Needed to get up early and cook for the chef in training. The season of change is upon us. #gamerchef #breakfast More mornings should be spent like this--flaxseed pandesitos, dark cherry on yogurt, and brewed Vietnamese coffee. Bought a bag of flaxseed pandesitos from the Sunday market. Really very good, a healthier version of pandesal. The guy who sells these breads have been selling them at the Sunday market for years, I intend to get more of his breads. Dark cherry on yogurt reminds me of the yogurt we used to buy in Bangkok almost everyday--but this is better, as it is fresh. Lovely morning, before a very hot day commenced. #breakfast #gamerchef #sunday #market Experimented with the vegetable noodles we found at the Sunday Market. We bought a pack of six, and I used two packs here--pumpkin and spinach. I need to improve on my cooking technique, as this type of noodle sticks a lot. It may be best to cook it like pansit. Made aglio olio, added some parsley and the last of the cherry tomatoes. The packs also come with chives and salt seasoning--but I only used one pack of seasoning for two packs of noodles. They assured me that there is no msg here, something so common in Pinoy food nowadays. Actually loved this, the noodles are so flavorful. I need to explore more ways of cooking this. #pasta #noodle #aglioolio #homecooked #homecooking Dinner was a bunch of stuff from the weekend market. We had leftover yang chow fried rice and tawilis from lunch. The asian garden salad was really nice--romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and oyster mushroom. We baked the oyster mushroom in salt, pepper, and olive oil. The dressing was Asian vinaigrette--sesame oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, salt and pepper. The sesame oil gives it a nutty, fragrant flavor. Of course, the excellent find of the day--dark cherries! I LOVE dark cherries. (Quite expensive, but it really is my favorite.) Lots more that we got, healthier snacks and juices, will post about it when I can. For now, burp. #sunday #market #gamerchef #dinner Earlier today at the Sunday Market. Really love this market place--good affordable food, lots of fresh produce, and excellent local and experimental food products. Its also clean and very safe. We've observed that backpackers and travelers have discovered this market as well. Will post our various stash as we go along. Enjoyable Sunday, albeit quite hot. #sunday #market #gamerchef Late post. Pumpkin and black rice. An achievement for me, I find pumpkins challenging to cook. #lunch #pumpkin #homecooked #homecooking
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