Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Much Ado

A while back I heard that Joss Whedon was coming out with a new adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."  I decided that would have to be the next play Harrison and I read for our Mommy's Trying to Turn Me Into A Supernerd Club.

Back in college I played Benedick in an all-female production of "Much Ado."  Here I am with my friend, Jenny, who played Beatrice.  The show was set in Hawaii right after WWII.  Those uniforms were made of wool, so too bad for you (and everyone around you) if you were a sweater.  This was my first time playing a man and the first play my friend Caroline was ever in.  She hated the experience, but didn't want to leave the theater with harsh feelings, so she continued to do shows as a stage manager.  After graduation, she went on to Julliard where she studied stage management and met her husband.  Cool, huh?

This time around, Harrison and I read from a book series called "No Fear Shakespeare" where the original text is on one side of the page and a modern translation is on the other side.  Booooo.  We both agreed that it was easier to just read the original text with footnotes.  Then we watched the Kenneth Branagh movie and Harrison absolutely loved it.  I warned him ahead of time not to be freaked out at seeing Gilderoy Lockhart, Professor Trelawney, and Delores Umbridge dancing around Italy together.  I did not, however, warn him about all the naked booties in the opening scene.  Guess he's all grown up now.

After we watched the movie, I told him I had once seen Robert Sean Leonard (Claudio) play Harold Hill in The Music Man on Broadway.  Harrison was super impressed (nerd), especially when I showed him the picture I took of Robert Sean Leonard signing my Playbill.  I was too embarrassed to ask for Mr. Leonard's autograph, so I asked Caroline (whom I was visiting in NYC) to get his autograph while I took his picture.  Then I realized I was too embarrassed to do that, too, so I snapped it quickly without looking.  That's why the picture is 50% Caroline's amazing hair.

Last night Harrison and I went to my favorite art house theater to see the new Much Ado About Nothing.
I read that Joss Whedon had some time off after directing The Avengers, so he invited some of his favorite actor friends to come to his house and shoot a black and white version of "Much Ado".  The whole thing was shot in 12 days at his home.  One of my favorite parts of the movie was seeing Benedick and Claudio arguing in what is clearly a little girls' bedroom, filled with stuffed animals and dolls. 
The movie is PG-13 and I had to cover Harrison's eyes a lot, but he said he understood it and declared it "an AWESOME movie!"
After the movie, we walked across the street to Fitz' where Harrison made a huge mistake and ordered the Big Muddy.  I ordered a cup of gumbo that is still wreaking havoc on my intestines.  Let that be a lesson to us all.

I asked him which movie he liked better and he said, "The first one, because it's in color and they don't use smartphones."

3 Wisecracks:

Wendy said...

I had a huge crush on "RSL" (Robert Sean Leonard) in high school. You are sooooo lucky!!

Mallen said...

I have to share that Caroline is also the reason I have Jon Stewart's autograph. I did talk to him but only after she started it. Lucky we have a friend w/ no fear.

Kimberly said...

Robert Sean Leonard! Yay!!! He totally beats my picture of Ferris Bueller (uh, whatshisname, I seriously can't remember it right now) that I took after he came offstage from "The Producers".