Bigger Girl had convinced me to go see Shakespeare's Twelfth Night at the local university, performed by students.
It was merriment indeed. You can perform Shakespeare with all the elaborate costuming, the big budget, the big name actors, the fabulous locations, and it can be awful.
Or, you can have a bunch of college students who are so obviously in love with what they are doing, that they take one simple set on a small, intimate stage, some very simple costumes and props, and their sheer joy at performing and turn out a masterpiece.
This was such a masterpiece. They had cut some of it, so it wasn't a full 3 hours. Their Malvolio was the only non-student and a member of the local acting guild, and he set the tone they followed. He came across as pompous as my Brother-in-Law, The Mouth, can be, and that's saying a lot. Even when they supposedly woke him and he came out in a cape and boxers to fuss at the drunk Sir Toby, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, and Feste, his expression was one of daring anyone to laugh, although of course we all did.
Orsino looked like a very young version of Chris Sarandon, who played Prince Humperdinck in The Princess Bride. You could believe this man was deeply passionate. Viola and Sebastian were cast so well that they not only did resemble each other, they had similar mannerisms and you could really believe they were brother and sister.
Olivia was one not to take guff off of Sir Toby, and Feste, the jester, rolled across the stage and had such fun you wanted to get up and have fun with him.
Maria capered about so prettily that it was easy to forgive her for her part in the tricks. Antonio and the Officer who arrested him had a sword fight that had people in the front row of the tiny theater leaning back a bit in their seats, you could tell they meant business.
The singing was joyful, exactly in keeping with the setting and one of the supporting cast had the prettiest soprano voice i have heard in a long time.
We were both glad we went, although it did mean that i skipped out on attending Bedside Baptist yesterday afternoon. If you've got a local secondary school or university with a drama department full of people who love what they do and do it well, go see a performance some time. You just might be surprised.
Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day (Buy your cheese that will be sacrificed on Cheese Sacrifice Day, and no, I never have found out why there is a Cheese Sacrifice Day anyway or to whom you are supposed to sacrifice it.)*
Chicken Wings Day -- Buffalo, NY, US (they want it to be a national day, and maybe someday it will be)
Experimental Aircraft Association Airventure -- Wittman Regional Airport, Oshkosh, WI, US (world's largest sport aviation event, through Sunday)
Feast of St. Martha, Virgin, Dragon Charmer, Sister of Lazarus (Patron of butlers, cooks, dieticians, domestic servants, homemakers, hotel keepers, housemaids, housewives, inkeepers, laundry workers, maids, manservants, servants, servers, single laywomen, travellers; Villajoyosa, Spain, which village she saved on her feast day by sending a flash flood to wash away the Moorish invaders in 1538)
Fiesta de Santa Maria Ribarteme (a/k/a Festival of Near Death Experiences) -- As Neves, Pontevedra, Galicia, Spain (festival of Mary in which those who have come back from near death are carried to the shrine in open coffins, or walk there clad in shrouds)
International Tiger Day
NASA Day -- marking the day President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act into law, creating NASA
National Anthem Day -- Romania
National Lasagna Day
National Thai Language Day -- Thailand (Wan Phasa Thai Haeng Chat)
Photograph Your Children When They're Not Looking Day -- get a good, candid shot to enjoy
Rain Day Festival -- Waynesburg, Pennsylvania (yes, it has rained at 113 out of the 138 observances of this festival on this date)
Runic Half-Month Thorn begins (defense)
St. Lazarus' Day -- date given in the Martyrologium Romanum; celebrated on Lazarus Saturday by most Eastern Churches and on Dec. 17 in most Western Churches
St. Olaf's (Olav) Day (Norway's Viking king; pPtron of carvers, difficult marriages, kings; Norway)related observances
Olavsoka -- Faroe Islands (opening of Logting, or Parliament; a National Day, on the Feast Day of St. Olav)
Oslok Eve -- Norway (celebrating the valiant death of their hero on this evening at the battle at Stiklestadt in 1030)
sometimes associated with Thor's Day among the Norse and Thunor of the Anglo-Saxons
Territory Day -- Wallis and Futuna
*"A cheese may disappoint. It may be dull, it may be naive, it may be oversophisticated. Yet it remains cheese, milk's leap toward immortality." Clifton Fadiman
Mary, Queen of Scots, marries Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, 1565
Charles, Prince of Wales, marries Lady Diana Spencer, 1981
Wanya Morris, 1973
Julian McMahon, 1968
Martina McBride, 1966
Marilyn Quayle, 1949
Peter Jennings, 1938
Elizabeth Dole, 1936
Paul Taylor, 1930
Melvin Belli, 1907
Clara Bow, 1905
Dag Hammarskjold, 1905
Stanley Kunitz, 1905
Benito Mussolini, 1883
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805
Today in History
King Olaf II fights and dies trying to regain his Norwegian throne from the Danes, 1030
James VI is crowned King of Scotland at Stirling, 1567
English naval forces under command of Lord Charles Howard and Sir Francis Drake defeat the Spanish Armada off the coast of Gravelines, France, 1588
John Graves Simcoe decides to build a fort and settlement at Toronto, having sailed into the bay there, 1793
Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, 1836
In Tipperary, an unsuccessful nationalist revolt against British rule is put down by police, 1848
The First Hague Convention is signed, 1899
Sir Robert Baden Powell sets up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England; this is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement, 1907
The International Atomic Energy Agency is established, 1957
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of France François Mitterrand sign the agreement to build a tunnel under the English Channel, 1987
The film Cry Freedom is seized by South African authorities, 1988
Astronomers announce the discovery of Eris, the largest dwarf planet in the solar system, 2005