Round-up of 2018

Here is a purr of fortune’s, sir, or of fortune’s 
cat — but not a musk-cat — that has fallen into the 
unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he 
says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the 
carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, 
ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his 
distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to 
your lordship.

— Clown, All’s Well That Ends Well

It has truly been a fortunate year. From my brother’s wedding to a brilliant research trip tp the Huntington Library, not to mention a relatively dry and warm fall and winter in Portland, I am sure I’m at the zenith of Fortune’s Wheel, and so steady myself for rougher waters ahead. In reflection on a great deal of good news and satisfying work, this post cobbles together a few year-end notes.

Just a few of my favorite things I saw this year, including Everybody and Magellanica (Artists Repertory Theatre); Henry V, Romeo & Juliet, and Snow in Midsummer (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Strangest Yellow (Fertile Ground Festival); Wakey Wakey (Portland Playhouse); Uncle Vanya (PETE); Macbeth (Shaking the Tree); Silent Sky (Pacific University); and She is Fierce (Enso Theatre).
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Dudamel’s “Otello” at the Hollywood Bowl

Admittedly, I am a bit out of practice reviewing here on the blog. My writing energies have been elsewhere, and you can see some recent things now available and forthcoming from Shakespeare Bulletin and others. Being no expert in the adaptive nuances of Shakespeare and opera, some thoughts about Gustavo Dudamel‘s one-night performance of Otello with the LA Philharmonic seemed a good fit to jump back in to blogging. (I suspect there are special issues out there on just this topic; I more than welcome any recommendations you have! The LA Times offers a detailed expert review here.) My first career was as a classical musician, so I couldn’t miss the chance to catch the rockstar of conducting ply his hand at what is widely considered Verdi’s most moving consideration of Shakespeare.

Verdi’s “Otello,” conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and performed by the LA Philharmonic. Hollywood Bowl, July 2018.

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