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December 19, 2008

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I'm surprised Stoppard wasn't better. But as to the speech impediment, maybe he wanted it to be real, rather than to start with it and fade. My brother stuttered in English all of his life until a few years ago when he fell and hit his head on a slate stepping stone. He's got a plate in his head now and he doesn't stutter. Whatever got hit fixed it. I've always thought this was one of his primary reasons to go missionary in Taiwan -- he doesn't stutter in other languages.

Marilee:
The speech impediment in question was not stuttering, just long delays in getting speech out at all. And it was specifically described in the play as having come on him one day for psychological reasons and killed his acting career. He gets over it at the end, but in the meantime, the wait-wait-wait for every word from him rapidly becomes irritating.

The most famous adaptation of Molnár's work is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

It's been a long time since I watched Carousel, but it's probably my favorite R&H movie. A story of domestic violence where a man is given a second chance.

Carousel is a classic musical that I actually have never seen. Not the only one, alas; I'm hoping to catch the Lupone Gypsy before it closes in January. January 3rd is likely to be another double-dip NYC theater day for me.

Susan.... Carousel is a classic musical that I actually have never seen

I'll lend you my DVD if you're interested.

Serge:
Nah, I'd rather see it live. It'll come around in New York or at Stratford eventually. (I've missed it at least once in both places already.)

More Stoppard with play-within-a-play business: The Real Inspector Hound, Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead...

And he's also done two plays based on paintings. It's the messing about with different levels of reality that appeals to him, I think.

I've spent enough time working in (mostly amateur) theater to be very ready to appreciate the play-within-a-play conceit. I also love novels set in theaters (like Susan Cooper's King of Shadows) and stuff like Poul Anderson's Midsummer Night's Tempest that riff off Shakespeare. The problem here was the level of farce, which was either too much or insufficient or both.

Ah, well. Every work can't be a gem.


What, not Maskerade?

Marilee:
I've never been much of a Pratchett fan. I had to look Maskerade up to figure out the reference.

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