litlover12: (PV)
Opera is back! By which I mean the Met season is back, and thus the Live in HD broadcasts are back. Not a minute too soon, too. My DVR just went rogue and ate about half my recordings, including a couple of PBS opera broadcasts I really wanted to see. (GRRRRR.) So it was extra-fantastic to get to see Verdi's Macbeth at the movie theater yesterday. I'd never heard or seen it before. That's some spectacular music. And it was interesting to see how closely the libretto followed Shakespeare.

And holy whoa, Anna Netrebko! She was absolutely blow-you-away awesome. Fierce and raw and commanding and sensual and everything Lady Macbeth ought to be, and in amazing voice to boot. It's like the role was written for her. (In addition, her interview at intermission was a hoot! She was so energized and excited, she was bouncing all over the place.) I've always liked her, but now she's even winning over the haters, from what I'm hearing and reading online. It's really nice to see.

If you're into opera at all and you have a free night on Wednesday, try to catch the encore broadcast of this. Or else watch for it to come to PBS (fingers crossed). It's so worth the time.
litlover12: (Lily2)
Drove up to Harrisburg today for some quality time with my best friend and her three kids, my godchildren. Among the gifts I took were a set of "Famous Paintings" flash cards. The two older kids were all over them, and seven-year-old Lydia got hold of Millais's painting of Ophelia. Which led to the following (condensing slightly for your convenience):

Lydia: "Who's Ophelia?"

Me: "She's in a play by Shakespeare. You haven't studied that yet. In a few years--"

Lydia: "Why is she in the water?"

Me: "Um . . . "

Note to self: Think twice before introducing children to art!!
litlover12: (BA)
For some unfathomable reason, I made the mistake of glancing through Vanity Fair's article on Scandal (which I don't even watch -- couldn't make it through the first episode). Buried within was this little gem from one of the actresses:


“For a woman actor, there has never been a better time to be alive,” Young told me. “Men have always had Shakespeare; now we’ve got Shonda.”


I'm sorry, did you really just mention Shonda Rhimes in the same sentence as Shakespeare!?

I . . . think I need to go lie down.
litlover12: (Darth2)
I suppose it was only a matter of time: William Shakespeare's Star Wars.
litlover12: (Darth)
Just a little book meme I thought of. Feel free to put your own unpopular opinions about books and adaptations on your LJ or in the comments section!

So, here are mine . . .

Spoilerish talk below )
litlover12: (Books)
Just wanted to show you all what I ordered with the gift card I won in the Book Riot contest!

Goodies below the cut . . . )
litlover12: (BA)

Let me guess . . . Juliet dies in childbirth just as Romeo gets run over by a truck.
litlover12: (HP)
What does it say about me, that when I heard Abraham Lincoln say, "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams," I immediately thought of Lord Peter Wimsey instead of Hamlet?

In related news, Lincoln is AWESOME. Go see it if you get the chance.
litlover12: (Books)
Went looking for Peter Ackroyd's book on Dickens; discovered that he also wrote books about London, Thomas More, King Arthur, Venice, and Shakespeare. So it looks like I need to read pretty much everything he ever wrote.

ETA: Oh, and also the Tudors. Yegads.
litlover12: (BA)
Have you ever seen a Shakespearean bathroom? [ profile] blackeye_galaxy has one. Might not be the kind of thing you'd expect to find in a bathroom, but the effect is really very cool. Shakespearean prints on the walls, a quote stenciled near the ceiling, a little sculpture or figurine or something -- don't know what you'd call it -- that looks like a pile of Shakespeare's plays, all kinds of interesting little touches like that. I was over at her house the other night and it got me thinking, maybe it would be fun to do a Dickensian bathroom. :-) These prints would be a great place to start!
litlover12: (BA)
[ profile] sonneta is getting into the movie snarking game. She's got a deliciously terrible trailer for Anonymous, Roland Emmerich's rehash of Shakespeare's life and times (emphasis on "hash"). The entry's locked, but if you're on her f-list, go forth and snark!
litlover12: (Cyrano2)
Have I ever mentioned that Cyrano de Bergerac is one of my fictional boyfriends? I don't think I have. Of course, I have so many of them that it's difficult to keep track. If they ever came to life (ooh, there's a lovely thought!), I'd have to rent RFK Stadium just to have a place to put them all.

Anyway, Cyrano is currently playing at the Folger Theatre downtown, so I went to see it this weekend. This was my first time actually seeing the play live, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though there were a few flaws in this version.

Read more... )
litlover12: (P1)
Finished Curiosities of Literature last night. I had been looking forward to it, but I'm afraid it was a disappointment. I loved the idea of it -- a collection of miscellany and trivia from the literary world -- but I could hardly believe how poorly done it was! It looked like it had never encountered an editor in its existence. Misplaced commas (even allowing for differences between British and American systems, they were wildly misplaced), missing articles, and dangling modifiers are bad enough in normal books; in books written by English professors, they're mind-boggling. Even worse were the major factual mistakes: Sutherland misquoted Shakespeare, identified Georgina Hogarth as Dickens's daughter rather than his sister-in-law, named Colin Firth as the star of the 2005 theatrical version of Pride and Prejudice, and referred to Sherlock Holmes as a "medical figure." I'm guessing there were probably even more that I wasn't educated enough to catch. I wanted to rank this book higher because of the great concept and the author's wicked wit -- he has some genuinely funny zingers in there -- but when your book is all about literary facts and you keep getting those wrong (when they're so easy to check, too), you've pretty much undermined your whole project. Wonderful idea, horribly sloppy execution. Two-and-a-half out of five stars.

Now I'm back in the mystery genre with Ends of the Earth by Tim Downs. This is my fourth "Bug Man" novel; I think I'm reading them out of order, but this one was on sale a few weeks ago, so I just snatched it up.
litlover12: (P1)
New meme:

Leave me a comment saying "Resistance is Futile."

• I'll respond by asking you five questions so I can satisfy my curiosity
• Update your journal with the answers to the questions
• Include this explanation in the post and offer to ask other people questions

Here are tempestsarekind's questions and my answers:

1. Would you rather hang out with Shawn or with Gus?

I have to say Shawn. Now, I would feel safer with Gus, because he doesn't pull quite as many insane stunts (at least not without giving them careful thought beforehand). But life with Shawn would always be fun and exciting and never dull!

Also, if I hung out with Shawn, I could shake the stuffing out of him and yell, "What are you DOING with Abigail, you dolt?? Juliet is totally the girl for you!"

2. I have not yet seen any of the Sayers adaptations, but I've gathered that there are in fact two separate series. Which one should I watch?

If you watch only one, it should be the one with Ian Carmichael. I kind of hate to say that, because Harriet Walter is such a great Harriet Vane in the other series. However, Edward Petherbridge is too languid as Lord Peter. Carmichael gives him more energy and just plays him as a more multifaceted character in general. I always say that Petherbridge had the right look and Carmichael had the right personality for the role, so together they would have made the perfect Peter Wimsey. But if I have to choose just one, I choose the one with the right personality. And then, I think the Carmichael series is a little more faithful to the spirit of the books and the characters.

3. Related question: What is your favorite film/miniseries adaptation? It doesn't have to be the one that you think is most *successful* as an adaptation--just the one you love most.

That tends to change. Right now I think I love Little Dorrit most. Of course, I haven't seen nearly as many adaptations as most of my LJ friends, which makes me feel quite ignorant. But maybe I'll manage to catch up one of these days.

4. Who is your favorite female character in Dickens?

Miss Betsey Trotwood, because she is made of pure awesomeness. She's strong and kind and funny and she strikes back against the forces of evil, whether they happen to be represented by donkeys or Murdstones!

(Now, if I had to choose a favorite Dickens heroine, it would be Amy Dorrit. She has that core of strength under all her quietness, and she knows what she wants and holds onto it no matter what.)

5. Aside from 19th/early 20th-c. literature, do you have another favorite period?

Ah, there you have me. I gave that a lot of thought last night, and every time I thought, "Well, I like this group of authors," they all turned out to be from the 19th and 20th centuries. :-) I like isolated authors from different time periods (e.g., Dante, Shakespeare), and I like reading history from various periods (especially Tudor history), but as far as literature goes, it seems to be just the one period. However, some of my favorites do extend all the way into the mid-20th. Some members of the group that one of my professors called the Oxford Christian Writers -- Lewis, Sayers, Tolkien, et al. -- were writing well into the '50s. And I have a great fondness for many of the early New Yorker writers, especially Dorothy Parker and James Thurber, who also were still going in mid-century. So that's about the best I can say for myself on that front!

So if anyone wants to be asked five questions about yourself, leave a comment saying "Resistance is futile!"


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