2011-02-26

sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
In which I attempt to make up for the flu with theater. It's like chicken soup, only with more lighting cues and fewer kneydlekh. Although if I go and see The Dybbuk next month in New York, that might change.

Tonight I went to Cardillac at Opera Boston—music by Paul Hindemith, serial killings by E.T.A Hoffmann, I'll post a review tomorrow. I am awake far too late as it is.

Last night I saw The Lady's Not for Burning at Theatre@First. This is a play about which it is impossible for me to be sensible; my grandparents took me to a production when I was thirteen, without telling me anything about it, and I fell in love. It was the first modern play I took any notice of. It was the first play I ever bought. (The same hardcover second edition with tattered, saffron-colored jacket I have here on the shelf beside me, with its woodcut cover and someone else's checks and underscores and caesurae pencilled into most of the parts; I think it must have been a rehearsal copy. I preserved it like a relic everywhere I moved: it's in better condition than many a book I've bought since.) I never tried to memorize it, but there are lines I've been able to quote for the last sixteen years:

I have left
Rings of beer on every alehouse table
From the salt sea-coast across half a dozen counties
But each time I thought I was on the way
To a faintly festive hiccup
The sight of the damned world sobered me up again.


I can see
The sky's pale belly glowing and growing big,
Soon to deliver the moon.


What is deep, as love is deep, I'll have
Deeply. What is good, as love is good,
I'll have well. Then if time and space
Have any purpose, I shall belong to it.


I love you, but the world's not changed.

I am therefore very pleased to report that I quite liked this production, because otherwise it'd have depressed me for weeks.

Is that a world you've got there, hidden under your hat? )

So once again, I find myself in the position of recommending a play the night before it closes, but that shouldn't keep you from listening to me. Yes, I'd have preferred an equal match of leads, but it didn't keep me from applauding all of the cast; there are cuts made to the text, but only a few lines ("What a wonderful thing is metaphor") that I really missed. There's the music and the voices. There's one performance left; if you're in the Boston area, you should go see it. And I will hope I don't need to wait another half my lifetime before I hear about another production of this play, because it deserves a wider audience than Pamela Dean's Tam Lin (1991), but if I have to take a version to carry with me for years, I don't mind it being this one.
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