Cardenio Online Hubbub Monday, June 9, 2008

June 10, 2008

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

“The decorations were great (not often nowadays), the colors and the costumes – pleasant to an eye.  Felt bad for Doris, though.  She actually wasn’t as bad as some family members could be at all…” -AG

“I took someone who had not been to the ART in years – one of many “It got too crazy” drop outs I’ve been trying to convince that you have never been stronger.  These past two years have been stellar!  He loved Cardenio.  Too bad he missed Julius Caesar, Oliver, Britannicus, Figaro – Wings of Desire you guys are so hot!!” -micaela d

“We loved the play.  Thanks!” -Kristin L.

“I thought the play was lots of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it!” -Barbara S.

“Some of the sketches and set-pieces were hysterical, but the dramatic glue sometimes failed, and some characters didn’t make sense (here I don’t wish to fault the acting, which really was excellent, or even to hurt authorial feelings, since it was an entertaining work with high ambitions that were maybe not uniformly reached). Luisa’s paean to Umbria just wasn’t moving. The Doris character was a problem. She was just repellent, without enough core truth or depth to make her at all sympathetic; when we are invited to identify with her as she becomes bored during the rehearsal (as who hasn’t gotten fidgety at SOME point during a Shakespeare performance) it just can’t happen because she has been so off-putting. And then everybody banishes her at the end for being not much more than a nudge.  Edmund’s dance routine was a hoot, Sally’s vibrator soliloquy nicely unexpected (although I was cringing about how to explain it to my 14-year old daughter, and am now cringing over why she didn’t ask), Rudi was a romp, Camilla’s facial acting saved the role. Point of curiosity: How much of Susan’s hyper-coloratura singing was pumped up at the audio board to ensure the mesmerizing effect (I don’t mean this to be snotty; I am sure her voice is beautiful un-enhanced)?” -Gentle Viewer

“We felt the play was too disjointed and had too many gratuitous elements that disrupted the flow of the story.  Some of this is, indeed, Shakespearean, but was not something we enjoyed.” -Robert E.

“I had a blast. I loved the mix of characters, the wackiness, the levels at which one could enjoy the words. It was light and fun and silly and thought-provoking.” -Ariane C.

“Cardenio was a fun and funny play. The Rudi character was hilarious, as was the twitchy Edmund. The actors were excellent in their roles.” -Linda W

“We loved the play and had a very good time. We’re the laugh out loud people center/ row  L.” -Styler Divine

“While the acting wasn’t bad, the play itself is so obsessively self-involved.  I go to the theater to see theater, not actors talking about acting.  I know this is a Shakespearian device, but in this case, put in the modern setting of a play acted within a play, I think it failed miserably and was really an exercise in thespian masturbation.” -Ashley

“This is the first time I came to see a play here.  And I absolutely fell in love.  I definitely got hooked on coming to watch plays here (hope the others are half as good as this one).” -HM

“Very clever, funny, enjoyable show.” -Michelem




Cardenio Online Hubbub Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 6, 2008

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

“I have not encountered so many errors of fact since The Da Vinci Code. But, since most of them were in the mouths of characters I suppose could be counted as Unreliable, I will content myself with observing that there is no definite article in Double Falshood.” -John W.

“The quality of the dialogue in Cardenio fell short of what one would expect in a “Shakespearean” play – we left at intermission.” -Sabine A.

“even when Shakespeare is being silly, he motivates his characters’ choices (or suggests some motivation, even slight), which was not true in Cardenio.” -nona


Cardenio Online Hubbub Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June 5, 2008

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

“We loved the play. We are subscribers and feel that we have a personal relationship with Remo, Karen, Will and Tommy (as he called himself last night). The play seemed like it was written for Remo and Tom to show off their brilliance as physical comedy actors.” -Lynn G

Cardenio Online Hubbub Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June 4, 2008

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

“It was a real joy to laugh at an ART production.  Too often in recent years the balance of the educate/entertain mission has shifted too far toward the academic.  I hope upcoming seasons will be more balanced and fun for both audience and actors.” -Elizabeth H.

“This was an excellent play!  Everyone in our row was talking about it.  We couldn’t stop laughing, but it still managed to touch on some serious themes of love and what it means to be in love.” -jeff k.

“I absolutely thought the dance routine was hilarious- I was still laughing in thinking about that a few days later…” -Laughing

“I loved it.   It was what A.R.T. does best, comedy.   Remo was absolutely hilarious.  Loved Karen MacDonald and Will Lebow. Tommy Derrah is definitely not Italian, but what a nice singing voice.  The entire cast was great.” -Susan M

“great play with a number of ART’s favorite performers” -JLR

Cardenio Online Hubbub Monday, June 2, 2008

June 3, 2008

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

“The character of Doris was too “doom and gloom”.  She makes a good foil to the other happy characters, but should have had some kind of vulnerability.” – S. Daniels

“LOVED the play; one of your best. LOVED the set; nice to see a non-minimalist one for a change.” – Elaine A.

“My wife and I subscribed this year and, after reading the Globe‘s review, were not looking forward to Cardenio.  But we thoroughly enjoyed it.  What went right?    First, we stopped thinking about it as “Shakespearean.”  We enjoyed it for what it was…an actors’ farce performed by a great cast with only passing nods to Shakespeare and Cervantes.  The bad review was the result of wrong expectations and perhaps some lingering resentment at what ART did to Romeo and Juliet (DISASTER) and Julius Ceasar (merely wrongheaded).  We thoroughly enjoyed Merchant of Venice and generally believed that the Shakespeare, Greek and Brecht plays were among your best.      Now, why was it an “actors’ farce?”  The writing was fine but Remo, Karen, and Will (written as if they were buddies…) really formed the core of everything that was right about this play. Although the two women singers were very good.  We ended up recommending the play to all our friends although one of them left at intermission she was so disappointed.” -Jim Walsh, Nahant

“The first act was better than the second, maybe because the play began taking its moral climate too seriously.” – edlih h

“I do think that it is the worst play I have ever seen — it set my new reference point for bad, articulating the manifold ways in which it failed would require days of work, so I will elide the details.    I do congratulate the actors for being able to put it on without vomiting during the performance.” – rdf

“Wonderful play.  One of the best we have ever been to at ART.  We laughed out loud many times.  You NEVER know what to expect at the ART.” -Larry B

“We have enjoyed productions of Charles Mee’s other plays at the ART and really did not know what to expect with this collaboration.  Acknowledging that I probably missed many of the Shakespearean references, I left feeling that the play was not sure what it wanted to be.  And as well drawn as the individual characters might have been, the various relationships did not come to life for me on the stage.” – harveyp

“I have seen this play twice, and I attended the Harvard Magazine reception where Stephen Greenblatt spoke.  I thought the play was great fun, and I particularly appreciate that its adaptability to other cultures and situations is encouraged.” – Dianne V.

“very enjoyable production.    Why was the house so sparsely populated?” -J and R

“The 2 songs were wonderful. What were they?” -Stephen C

“Finding little nubbins of Shakespeare embedded in the story added greatly to our enjoyment – but in many ways, the play stood on its own merits.” – Lucinda K

Cardenio Online Hubbub Friday, May 30, 2008

May 30, 2008

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

“I enjoyed the play, but not as a “lost Shakespeare” play. Had the advertising been themed in a different way, I think that the reviews would have been better. “Inspired by a lost play” would have been a better lead. A couple of the younger females could have used more projection in the early scenes (hard to hear even in row J). Some of the sound cues were too loud, poor balance with the audio levels of the rest of the play. Some of us are NOT hard of hearing, not having grown up with earphone constantly attached to our ears at 90 plus decibels. It was well directed as a farce, with rapid exits & entrances, which worked much better than a typical Shakespearian approach (at least from this non-expert’s view point).” -Fred C

“I don’t think the script had enough unity. It seemed like a number of great ideas but not a whole play.” -Damon J


Cardenio Online Hubbub Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 29, 2008

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

“I thought some editing was needed.  The solo dance and the toast (by the same character) were too long.  Shorter versions would have been more effective.” -T. Chrostowski

“I really enjoyed the play.  A clever and well-woven paean to Shakespeare.  Also, the set was fantastic – could we have it when you’re done to attach to the back of our house?”-MW

“I thought this play had vast potential, and was a lot of fun to watch.  However, it seemed ever so slightly lacking in depth: Shakespeare’s plays always resonate with deeper themes, and this Cardenio somehow skimmed the surface.” -A. Milton

“I really loved the music — the voices were enchanting and added real tenderness to the comedy.    The oddly wicked sister reminded me of the witches in Wizard of Oz — reinforced by the hat and especially the red shoes.  The costumes and scenery were terrific, too — as enchanting as the acting” -E.A.B.

“Enjoyable evening – I would say the best of the season.” -Hal G.

“The play was a piebald – splotches of boredom and of hilarity.” -Fred H

“First act felt stilted/artificial and was not engaging. Left me as an observer rather than a participant. The singular theme of forced betrayal with dire/happy consequences should have been balanced by a more positive experience and I am not sure the father/mother marriage would fall into that category.” -RvB


Cardenio Online Hubbub Monday May, 26, 2008

May 27, 2008

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

“The play was outstanding; the most important factor (other than a very sophisticated script) was that it is actually funny, both because of the script, and the acting performances. The actors commit big social blunders and everyone else sees it but them – the essence of humor in the context of an important social occasion such as a wedding.” – Jon L.

“For me, various elements were either stereotypical (choices of Italian music, the food descriptions during the wedding feast), or didn’t hang together–either with the character or stylistically — (e.g, the Barry White and the dancing in the beginning and the operatic singing by Susanna, the actress).” – Stefania Z.

“The play was A+ as entertainment, but that’s all.  It will not sink down into my spirit to remain and nourish.” – Petrakis B.

“I really enjoyed the play! It was a great deal of fun and such a talented cast!” – Leher S.

“Thought Remo was hysterically funny.” – Karen L

“I enjoyed the evening and appreciated the effort.  I needed to adjust my original expectation which was for a Shakespearean type dialogue interspersed throughout.  Too bad for me.” – Rob M

“A fun concept, but the play needs editing. Like the “Albanian” wedding toast, it went on too long.  It’s very arch- and meta- everything, and could only survive in a university theater. The actors were fabulous, otherwise the gimmicky show would have been a disaster.  Remo, as usual, stole the evening.” -perry g.

“It is too bad that the Globe gave a poor review.  It was a great fun evening.  I was awake for the entire performance.” -Steve

“This was a great idea, but the script needed some attention from a professional playwright who would have pruned banal language, set up the inciting incident more clearly, and kept the action from bogging down.” -VirginiaL.

“We loved the play and always enjoy going to the ART. We are also big fans of Steven Greenblatt’s work.” -jocelynmia

“The play was a play on human nature and the foible we experience in youth and in presenting ourselves as the wise older person.” -irene k

“Loved the vitality of the play, the parody of (too harsh a term, the admiring parallels to Shakespeare, the dance and oh, the acting, brilliant!” – David R.


Cardenio Online Hubbub Friday, May 23, 2008

May 27, 2008

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

“One of the best plays I have seen in 5 years of subscribing to ART.  Hilarious.  I couldn’t stop laughing.” -Bonny S

“Loved the general enthusiasm of the cast.” -wendy m

“This owed as much to mid- and late-period Woody Allen as to Shakespeare, I thought (especially in the Edmund-Simonetta interaction).  The incorporation of some Shakespearean elements into the plot was charming, but the language was LEADEN, both dull and stagey (the only time it sounded real was when Melchiore/Derrah was describing the various pastas, which seemed copied from real life and hence spontaneous and funny), and the younger performers were not very good at making it sound alive.  The lack of exploration of the non-lovers’ inner lives (Melchiore and Simonetta, Rudi, even the parents) wasn’t very Shakespearean; Shakespeare also wouldn’t have left out Camilla’s and Will’s public confession of their love (everyone else leaves believing that Camilla is still shaken by Anselmo’s betrayal, leaving Camilla and Will to a private celebration, but Shakespeare likes integration and community at the ends of comedies, not privacy).  And there was no epilogue; clearly there should have been one by Camilla (a la As You Like It) or by Rudi (a la the other comedies). -Anon Y.

“I am so disappointed with the terrible review the Globe gave this play. It was 100% INJUSTICE. They play was fun, the stage amazing and the acting superb. It was so sad to see the theater only 1/2 to 2/3 full. So many people are missing an outstanding performance.” -CarlosN

Cardenio Online Hubbub Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 23, 2008

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

“Redo other Shakespeare plays this way, or do other playwrights that have lost or incomplete works in their style, with there favorite devices.” -Tommy S

“Remo Airaldi’s one-“man” act was absolutely great.” -RS

“We loved Remo’s one-man performance, and the aria was absolutely breath-taking. It brought tears to my eyes.” -Bob P.

“The Globe critic was obviously having a bad-hair day when she saw the play.  I thought it was clever and delightful.” – bobby b