Cardenio Online Hubbub Monday, May 12, 2008: Production Responses

What did you think about Cardenio? Keep the discussion going on A.R.T.’s Online Hubub.

“I like Shakespeare’s comedies and on the whole I liked this play but I felt it was a little indulgent in parts.  The play within a play was entertaining but it should have been half as long.  Same with the songs and dance numbers.  As modern playgoers we forgive some of Shakespeare’s abrupt segues or improbable plot twists BECAUSE HE’S SHAKESPEARE.  He’s dazzling in so many ways, we’re willing to put up with a little illogic here and there.  A modern playwright, however indebted to Shakespeare, had better have every logical duck in a row.  My forgiveness in such matters is reserved for Shakespeare.  You can pay homage and make me laugh, but I won’t enjoy the story or the characters with anything like the same depth of appreciation if you don’t make it all hang together.  Also, it felt as if the playwrights drew up a wish-list of Shakespearean conventions and tried to cram them all into one script.” -Leaf R.

“We all thought the performances of the cast were great. The Ladies had beautiful voices and the dancer was terrific.” -Elaine L

“I’m still laughing!” -mauram m

“We really loved this show.  We are fans of both Chuck Mee and Shakespeare and loved seeing how their unique voices combined so well to create this story.  And I think more plays need to include a dance routine like Edmund’s!” – Ashley J

“Enjoyable theater – loved all the info about the ‘lost’ play.” -Reenie D

“The best looking set I have seen on the ART stage. Special note, change in sky colors both on the cyc and the little stage in the courtyard. Remarkable.” -Anonymous

“Second act needs a lot of work! Overall, the play suffers from extreme predictability.  In the hands of a less capable cast and director this play could have been deadly instead of highly enjoyable. If you’re going to use Shakespearean devices and plot twists, remember that they are 500 years old now so we might be able to guess what’s coming.” -Bob S.

“Loved the second act. The first act felt like a bit like a sitcom script. Think it needs tightening.” -Nick B

“Professor Greenblatt’s and Playwright Mee’s attempt though with merit, played more like a sitcom than Shakespearean wit and cunning. Maybe the old Bard didn’t want his Cardenio to be found.  Let sleeping dogs lie!” – Raffael D.

“This play is a masterpiece.  Its intricate plot{s}, the seriousness underlying the comedy and the thought-provoking nature of this drama are features that Shakespeare would have been proud of.  This is really a great play beautifully performed.” -IR

“I thought the play was a little trite and silly in modern language. The Shakespearean comedy formula works in older language, but not modern.  Remo Arieldi’s monologue was worth the price of admission, however.” – Robert F.

“The play actually felt more Chekhovian than Shakespearean, despite all the borrowed devices–does Shakespeare ever have characters indulge in such bewildering arias that the other characters barely react to?” – Paroles


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