‘Hamlet’ memoriesBill's Briefs Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Social Chaos: Bill's Briefs
A recent discussion of San Diego Old Globe’s wonderful productions brought to mind my college appearance in Hamlet. Unfortunately the lead was denied me, as the director was entranced by the blond 6 foot 3 inch sophomore, Thor Gustafsen. He with the body of Adonis and the brain of a muffin.
Thor’s inability to memorize Shakespeare’s longest role led to little scraps of paper with his lines being stuck all over the set (if he remembered where to look) and countless heart-stopping moments for the cast which was never sure where his wanderings across the stage would lead or what he would say (if anything).
My talents were utilized by three (3!) pivotal roles; ghost, gravedigger and third torch-bearer plus hiding behind the bush, throne, arras, etc. to feed the star his lines.
Afterwards, as we ground our teeth, he was excessively praised for his performance. Unmentioned was his new found love for his obscenely tight tights and slippers leading him to substitute for Hamlet’s manly stride the ballet dancer’s toe-first saunter, thus causing many to doubt the depth of his commitment to Ophelia.
The production ended with respectable reviews and attendance, but the inner strife was no secret in the department. The director wisely accepted an offer at a new school the next year and the “star” transferred there also (Hmm!). Ah, showbiz.
As for my performance: “His unforgettable muggings and posturings were a jolt to this reviewer’s senses.”
Wow, “unforgettable.” What a great compliment!
Super Bowl comments
My involvement with football consists of several viewings of Danny Does Dallas (an art film of sensitive locker room vignettes), but to silence repeated comments (cracks) about my lack of sports knowledge, I joined some friends and watched the Super Bowl.
First and foremost I must scold the designers: the blue and white costumes were so predictable, no pizzazz; the “gold” on the other side was down-right pumpkiny and all that padding made everyone look bulky.
I enjoyed watching the guys run back and forth and pitch the “pig” (see, I was paying attention). Their crashing into each other and rolling around together reminded me of Danny and his teammates.
I didn’t understand the point of the black-out. I guess it was to enliven the game which it did, especially in the fourth inning when everyone got excited because red and gold suddenly got two points.
I still don’t know why nor why the umpire did nothing when the sexy, tall guy was pushed and couldn’t catch the ball.
Another mystery: why all the pre-game hoopla about the two brothers? They didn’t even play; just yelled at each other through their little mikes. Hunky enough, but rather excitable.
I never figured out who the tight ends were they kept mentioning, but Joe Flacco and a few others kept my interest. I couldn’t help wondering if their locker room was anything like the one in the movie.
All in all, an interesting, exciting afternoon. And the pretty girl sang well.
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