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Archive for the ‘Shakespeare’ Category

(On 400 th anniversary of Shakespeare here is a parody. Macbeth: Ac1.Sc.4. Then of course Prince is also remembered. -benny)

Late Prince of Purple Rain! That is steep

One song I could belt out in falsetto

While he’s dust and ashes. Stars stop your ears

I dare not sing my black and deep desires.

You may clap at the end, -yea let that be

I will take that I outdid Prince

While he’s dust and ashes. Stars hide your fires

If my words suck, -my heart was not in it;

The eye wink at the hand while the question

Of dollars and cents make my words sound false.

The original version is given here below.

Macbeth

Ac.1.Sc.4

(aside) The prince of Cumberland! That is a step

On which I must fall down, or else o’erleap,

For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires;

Let not light see my black and deep desires.

The eye wink at the hand, yet let that be

Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.

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Tallulah Bankhead arrived NY the teenage winner of a movie magazine beauty contest. By accident her chaperone registered at the Hotel Algonquin, allowing her vivid personality to be discovered by famous folk of the Round Table. She is more noted for wit than her acting. On the advice of an astrologer she tried London where fame embraced her.

(Ack: The Theatrical 20’s Allen Churchill-McGraw Hill)

John Barrymore was in his generation considered the finest American actor who from light comedy roles could capture the New York theatre goers with his rendition of Hamlet. As a young man he had dreamed of being a newspaper cartoonist, sketch artist or caricaturist. He even did a stint as an artist for Manhattan newspapers. But his family name and striking good looks made it easier to make a transition to the matinee idol. His comic roles elicited from Alexander Woollcott this comment: ‘ This apparently raffish clown has genius.’

He had besides his robust colourful vocabulary, voice control that could shape every syllable, sending chills up the spines of his audience, among whom Churchill lapped up his soliloquies as coming from Bard himself. Richard III(1920),Hamlet(22-23) were sensational. His Hamlet proved he had delved deep into the writing of Freud who was then vogue. His was a cerebral performance with overtones of neuroses. He has been called the Hamlet of the Century.’ Since then great many actors have emoted on the stage and I can recall John Gielgud, Olivier, Burton all in the role of the brooding Dane. In my mind’s eye I still hold Barrymore as epitome of Hamlet. I haven’t seen him but from what little seen of his acting (Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Richard III-YouTube, The Grand Hotel, Trilby and a few) I know I am right.

Elsewhere I have posted anecdotes about the Great Profile so I merely sketch a thumbnail sketch.

benny

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Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Creeps while this default earn penal interest!

To the last syllable of recorded time

My name shall ill-spoken be: a spendthrift’s fate;

Do I walk debtor’s path or pay up head high

Or pledge my walking shadow to creditors

All sundry,- and nod in surrender?

Life is an idiot who holds the cash-box

Signifying nothing

For those who live to spend spend, spend.

Original version

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

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