By Bob Hicks
What do nine short plays about gay marriage and a Gilligan’s Island take on Much Ado About Nothing have in common? What do either or both have to say about that old bugaboo, elitism and the arts?
In my essay Gay Marriage, beach-blanket Bard: elitism for the masses over at Oregon Arts Watch, I try to sew it all together in a discussion about Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays at Artists Rep and the beach-blanket Much Ado at Northwest Classical Theatre Company.
On Standing on Ceremony:
“Whatever happened to the old-fashioned curtain-raiser, the theatrical equivalent of the pre-show cartoon and newsreel at old Saturday movie matinees? How about 10 minutes of Labute’s Strange Fruit, just to play imaginary producer for a moment, paired with a production of David Mamet’s Boston Marriage?”
On Much Ado About Nothing:
“The other thing I love about Much Ado is the way that Beatrice and Benedick spin a new reality out of their passion for language. By talking, by creating their stories on the fly, they travel from isolation to consummation. It’s the perfect evocation of the power of language, of art, to transform lives. Beatrice and Benedick don’t fall in love. They talk themselves into it.”
Plus, as they say, much much more if you click the link to the full story. Don’t delay!
Melissa Whitney and Peter Schuyler, on the beach in “Much Ado.” Photo: Jon Gottshall