Thursday, June 19, 2008

What a Piece of Work is Man.

a-1.gif picture by Sarima2

It's been a year since I saw Romeo & Juliet in Central Park, and I'm all riled up to see Hamlet this year. I just hope the Public Theatre continues the streak of "good" Shakespeare plays in the years to come, hopefully including Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew and bypassing Henry the...whatever and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Anyway. It's not just Hamlet I'm super excited bout this year; it's the American Tribal Love-Rock musical Hair. The musical that actually revolutionized Broadway and brought the concepts of free love, peace, protest and drugs to popular culture. It's the forerunner to all other unconventional musicals, but, more importantly, it still has the ability to stand on its own today, without being (completely) a period piece. Of course that's due to some striking similarities of the present day to the 1960's, but that's for another post... 

To be fair, I did see it during the extremely limited three day engagement last September, but I was so unfamiliar with it, not to mention tired after a long day of classes, that I couldn't appreciate it very much. But, after nine months of blasting the soundtrack, watching the (slightly terrible) movie, and reading up on criticisms and history of the play, I'm excited to see it once again. This time in a better frame of mind. 

There is, however, another reason I am dying to see this production. Namely: 

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Jonathan Groff.

Sure, it's pretty fangirlish of me to have a crush on an adolescent Broadway star, but I'm only human (well, that's debatable, but I do have raging hormones, so there's your explanation). Ever since seeing him (all of him, if you catch my drift) in Spring Awakening last year, and again in Hair, and in addition to knowing from a reliable source that he does indeed play for my team, I have been a little obsessed with him. I probably would never have the nerve to act upon these feelings, or even bring myself to talk to him for that matter, but it's exciting to see him in person. He's a brilliant performer and has the ability to take command of the stage when he's on it. Oh, and he's hot. 

sitpart.gif picture by Sarima2
There is also, one more reason that I am excited about both of these plays. The tagline on the poster advertising the plays is "What a piece of work is man." Now, to someone unfamiliar to these works, that quote might seem unimportant, however, a shrewd eye will tell you that it's the beginning of a soliloquy that appears quite predominantly in both plays. It's that aspect of design that I find impressive and worthy: the simple nuances that are well researched, apropos, and give you something to smile at while reading the poster. Not to mention the symbol of vanitas/iconic skull on the poster that sums up both Hamlet and Hair quite nicely in one image. 

I have, as usual, a good feeling about the Public Theatre this summer. It's one of the few things to look forward to in these scorching months. 

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