Friday, November 6, 2009

Hamlet and Wicked

Please enjoy Jude Law's back.

Please enjoy Jude Law's blurry front, perfectly framed by his own giant poster face.

The production as a whole was pretty great. As far as set and costume go, everything extraneous (color included...except for a few token moments) was removed, leaving characters accentuated and Hamlet's "words words words" highlighted. Jude, to everyone's dismay I'm sure, was not nearly angry enough in the first act or so but he picked it up. I want my Hamlet seething from beginning to (almost) end and quiet because he can hardly move from hate and grief. Aren't slow movement and low volume much more threatening than theatrics? He should be sarcastic and caustic, stemming out of revenge, naturally, but also his princely entitlement.

Horatio was a little too overblown and even feminine in his movements. If you're going to go that way with the relationship between Hamlet and his best friend then just do it, but it didn't feel purposeful, just unedited.

Ophelia was missing intensity. Innocence isn't necessarily weakness.

Polonius was perfect scurrying windbag. Claudius was accurately a Bill Clinton-esque, suave politician. I would like a Gertrude who was something of a Hillary, but this one was an elegant and easily-swayed Jackie O., if anything.

Enough of Hamlet.

Wicked was totally different and exactly what I hoped it would be. We loved it. "Toss, toss, tossssss." Glinda made prissy so so funny and lovable and a little Elle Woods and not obnoxious at all. There were sparkles and synchronized dancing, and I'm always on board for some of dat.

Afterwards, when J. and I left it was raining, of course. While we debated the quickest way to get to the right subway station, a bike taxi happened by, a bike taxi with a convenient plastic hood over it. At first it seemed like a foolish waste of money. On second thought, it seemed logical--we didn't know which way to go, and we didn't want to walk in uncomfortable boots any more than necessary, and did I mention it was raining? So how much? He said $10. Well, between us, we only had $2 in cash. He replied that we looked nice, and he'd take us for free. We accepted. Can you see his back hunched over and straining in that top shot? I had been eating a lot since we arrived.

There were bumps and pot holes involved in our ride, but you can't really tell in this picture.

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