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Posts Tagged ‘Shakespeare’

First Drafts of Some Shakespeare Plays

  1. Green Eggs and Hamlet – A charming farce about breakfast during the Renaissance

    1564-1616. Numbers don’t do him justice. But words do. Much ado.

  2. The Book of Norman – The Norman Conquest as seen through the eyes of a zealous young missionary, Prince Brigham
  3. Romeo & Romeo – Set in a Roman bath house, this steamy play about gladiator hygiene introduces the recurring character of Bette Midler
  4. The Merry Wives of Vlad the Impaler – The bard takes a lighter look at Vlad’s happier domestic life. This is not the one-dimensional “head on a pike” Vlad that can be so dreary.
  5. MEGA – Make England Great Again. This play later morphed into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
  6. Do You Know the Muffin Man. Well, Do Ya Punk? – This play begat the character of Dirty Harry
  7. Taming of the Jew – A headstrong Semite is mellowed after his desired behaviors are rewarded with bagels
  8. A Midsummer’s Night Protest March for Redress of Grievances Against the King – The peasants revolt against the King’s knights use of excessive force – especially when a simple, “Will you kindly give us your first born,” would do. Uprising eventually leads to King John relinquishing some power by signing the Magna Carta.
  9. Two Gentleman from the Tenderloin – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern visit Stonewall and wind up in chains – though by choice

    While visiting his home in Stratford-upon-Avon, I paid homage at his burial site in Holy Trinity Church.

  10. Juliet and Juliet – 2 chefs battle to the death in a final cook-off to see who will become Queen Elizabeth’s court chef. Neither want to lose their head over this, but one will. It’s like a medieval version of the Food Network’s show Chopped. Also, Juliet and Juliet, may have been the basis for the 2009 foodie movie Julie & Julia.
  11. How Now Brown Cow – Falstaff develops unaccountable feelings for his cow Bessie, in a love that dare not speak its name. Audiences found it very mooving.
  12. Thou Wench Doth Spaketh Poorly – A grammar snob decries the lack of the King’s English spoken by a Cockney street urchin. Play later became My Fair Lady
  13. A Pursuit Most Trivial – Professor Maximillian of Cambridge keeps pestering the faculty with pointless quiz questions on a variety of topics. Eventually it becomes a board game craze and he makes a million. Which influenced play #14
  14. Maximillian Makes a Million – A stunningly unorthodox play where the protagonist (Professor Maximilian) confesses that it wasn’t the first million, but rather the second million that was actually the hardest to make. No one was exhibiting meta-humor in 1590, except for Shakespeare. This “lost” play never made it out of previews in Greenwich. Its charred script was discovered near his Globe Theater in 2007 after getting singed in London’s Great Fire of 1666.
  15. Sir Thinxalot – This brilliant Knight of the Eggheads defeats opponents with wit and cunning. In Act II he marries Lady Mensa.
  16. The Gouger of Venice – A greedy Venice merchant overcharges its citizens for gondola rides until the Doge gently persuades him to “play nice” or have his disemboweled entrails strewn all over St. Mark’s Square
  17. Bangers and Mash – An Olde English version of Starsky and Hutch
  18. East Side Story – A musical version of Romeo and Juliet. Who would ever dream a musical like that would work – unless you transferred it to the West Side.
  19. Ojello – This first draft involving rendering horses into edible byproducts somehow transformed into Othello
  20. The “Ado” Plays
    • Much Ado About Nothing
    • Some Ado About Some Thing
    • A Little Ado About a Few Things
    • No Ado About Anything
    • Much Adieu About French Good Byes

 

Shakespeare was celebrated in his day because he wrote popular and relatable plays for the masses and aristocracy alike. This was before Johan Gutenberg’s printing press made books/novels/stories generally available. There wasn’t much entertainment competition. Shakespeare had the field pretty much to himself. Theater going was one of the few ways your average Lancelot entertained himself. Will S. actually became more popular after his death (just like I will). Back then the play really was the thing.

This is by no means a condemnation of the outsized talents of Shakespeare, just a perspective on our most worthiest of playwrights

Still, I wonder why playwright isn’t spelled playwrite. Makes no sense. Oh well – a little ado about everything.

Shakespeare in Love…Yes, Again

Oh sure he could write the most influential and popular plays in history, but try getting him to write a coherent love letter to his mistress - forget it!

Oh sure he could write the most influential and popular plays in history, but try getting him to write a coherent love letter to his mistress – forget it!

A recently discovered love letter from William Shakespeare to Gwendolyn Fairskin, the nanny of his children, has or “hath” (as we slide down the slippery slope of Olde English) sparked great controversy and set Shakespearian scholars scurrying to verify its authorship. Did the venerable Bard of Avon write this revealing mash note to Ms. Fairskin? Moreover, did he author any of the magnificent plays attributed to him? I leave that question to the Bureau of Weights and Measures or whoever authenticates these things. All I know is; me thinks tis true – that this steamy epistle is the work of Shakespeare in love.

 

And if its discovery wasn’t startling enough, manuscript antiquarians have discerned a note scrawled on the outside of the folded parchment believed to read: “Alloweth not David Hardiman of Reno-upon-Truckee any view upon this missive.” Well tough luck Willie. Your prescience will go unrewarded as I dutifully present your heartfelt spasms to an adoring audience of enthusiastic Shake-o-philes.

 

Posing as a calibration technician for the Bureau of Weights and Measures I’ve gained access to the randy letter and carefully translated it from its original Pig Latin (he wrote it in code in case it was intercepted) to the more familiar Olde English, thereby allowing it to exhibit the expected Shakespearian rhythm we’re all comfortable with. T’would be imprudent to translateth otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »