James Shapiro claims that Donald Trump may be the only US President not interested in Shakespeare. (2020, p.203)
Someone else said he is the only president with no sense of humor.
Reminds me that it must have been 1987 that my sister and I saw Ian McKellen at Marines Memorial, “Acting Shakespeare”.
I actually don’t recall if I’ve seen this, but its in my queue.
And I’m intrigued by the “Come Live With Me” song by Stacey Kent. It’s based on Marlowe (I met Shapiro when he taught Marlowe at Dartmouth; and by the way, I got a weird kick out of hearing “Dartmouth” in “The Crown” – – synecdoche for “military” like saying “West Point”). The song was a fake big band era tune by Trevor Scott but I don’t think anyone else has tried to cover it).
Richard III: My kingdom for a horse.
Donald Trump: grab them by the p****.
I am also meaning to read more carefully the Playboy Interview with Trump, circa 1990.
and1: there was apparently a 1941 film “Come Live With Me’ with a version of a song by James L. Hatton. And that led me to something about Willoughby Weiss. And also back to Shapiro “Shakespeare in A Divided America” about Cushman girls “American Indians”.
Keep it together. I forget why there are USC Cheerleaders.
Shakespeare music for Charles Kean
From about 1853 Hatton was engaged as Director of Music at the Princess’s Theatre, London to provide and conduct the music for Charles Kean‘s Shakespearean revivals. In this capacity he composed music for Sardanapalus King of Assyria (the orchestra including six harps) and for Macbeth, both in 1853. He wrote an overture, and entr’actes, for Faust and Marguerite in 1854; his music for Shakespeare’s Henry VIII (1855) was dedicated to Mrs Charles Kean; in 1856 his music for Kean’s revival of Sheridan‘s Pizarro replaced the old score by Michael Kelly. Only the glee by Kelly was kept. Kean sought authenticity: Hatton rewrote it completely, ‘based on Indian airs… founded on melodies published in Rivero and Tschudi’s work on Peruvian Antiquities as handed down to us by Spaniards after the conquest.’ He wrote music for Richard II in 1857, and for King Lear, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing in 1858. Reference is also found for music to Henry V, for which several mediaeval instruments were required. The arrangement with Kean seems to have collapsed in a legal dispute of 1859. As the music for Much Ado About Nothing had not been published, Hatton sought to show that it remained his own property and could be adapted or performed at his discretion. The court, however, found that it was an inseparable part of Kean’s design, and ruled against him.
andand: Maybe Cushman sisters should have done the Tempest since their father was a succesful “West Indian” businessman:
SHEIR: So there’s all this criticism about Susan and Charlotte playing Romeo and Juliet. But once they got to London, it seems that criticism faded. In fact, and I think this is so funny, the fact that two sisters were playing Romeo and Juliet seems to have bothered people a lot less than the fact that they were performing Shakespeare’s original words.
MERRILL: Yes, and that was again Cushman’s, she initiated that. Much of the Shakespearean scripts that were used at the time were based on the Restoration rewrites, and, you know, there were productions of Hamlet with happy endings. Cushman never did those.
But over time, Shakespeare was starting to be restored, and the Shakespearean script had not been performed, the whole Shakespearean script of Romeo and Juliet, until Cushman did it in England. When Cushman insisted… Remember, there are no directors as such at the time, there are theater managers, but leading performers make the decision about the script that they’re going to use and the blocking onstage, all of that.
So, when Cushman decided to do Romeo and Juliet and she wanted to use the Shakespearean script, they reacted to her as though she was uncouth. They called her one of the “American Indians,” who wanted to use the earlier, less carefully wrought script instead of the improved version. But people who were purists, once they saw the entire Shakespeare script onstage, celebrated her for that. There was a movement just starting at that time, and she was really in the heart of that.
So in this use, “indians” is shorthand for uncouth. But are they saying that Cushman, though decendent from Mayflower stock, were also of mixed race? I’m out of bounds here, like a female lacrosse player in the 1980s Ivies, but I do note that the USC photo seems to show that half of the girls in white are actually non-Anglo.
Lastly: I started to watch Anthony Hopkins as Philip Roth professor Silk, a Black man posing as a Jew but fired for using the word “spook”. Haint miss bee hiving. Adieu.
I really appreciate this. Art Hirahara played the last live music event I went to, March 13, 2020 in Palo Alto (with Akira Tana Otonowa), and I found this today because I am researching Shakespeare….by the way, Stevie Nicks went to high school near Palo Alto, though she is really from Arizona. In Palo Alto, our May Fete parade is being built around Louis Armstrong “What A Wondeful World” but I think Stacey with both “Three Little Birds” and “Landslide” captures the zeitgeist or the hope better.
Come with me
And read my blog
And we shall all the
fire/leap/jump — your choice