Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Consider Me Whupped!

Hey, it seemed like a good idea... go up for my meeting in Seattle, see my friend Walter's show, then come back down after the show. It's only a three hour drive, eh?

Well, I got in at 2:30 AM... ugh... I've been up and drinking coffee since about 7:30 (damn that Buddy and his desire to be fed... grrrr), and I'm still not entirely awake. Still, it was a decent drive.

I have to talk a little about the production of Don Quixote that I saw in Seattle at Book-It Repertory Theatre. In general I'm not a fan of the "Book-It Style" of performance. For those of you who aren't aware, Book-It adapts works of literature into stage performances, including large parts of the narrative (so, in many cases, the actors won't just say their characters' lines; instead, they'll say "Tom never thought about why he should want to paint a picket fence. It seemed to him to be a sorry thing to do on a Saturday afternoon..."). The idea is to give some of the flavor of the author's writing within the stage adaptation.

I think that this is a great idea - it's a way to honor the written word contained within the book while still staging the story for the audience. It's just not my cup of tea... when I've seen shows done in this style (such as ART's Honey and the Horn a couple of years back, or Mt. Hood Rep's recent production of Fahrenheit 451) I've always found that "speaking the narrative" took me out of the story a bit. But... that's just me, and any adaptation of classic works like that is marvelous.

Don Quixote was different. Rather than have the actors speak the narrative, the adapter had Miquel de Cervantes, the author of the work, cast as a character in the play. As the scenes from the books were played out, Cervantes was there to give us his narrative AND his commentary on the production, the characters, and the books themselves. In many ways the play became less about parts 1 and 2 of Don Quixote (Cervantes wrote part one, then took 10 years to write a sequel. He only put out part 2 when he heard that a different "sequel" was being circulated by another author), and more about the process of being an author. It was a wonderful multi-leveled experience.

Should be in Seattle, I'd highly recommend trying to get in to see it... but you'll have to roll the dice. I think the run may very well be sold out.

Ok, time to do about 14 hours of work before I get to crash again... yay!