September

September

Saturday, July 10, 2010

"With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come"- Play #3-The Merchant of Venice

How far that little candle throws his beams!  So shines a good deed in a naughty world. (The Merchant of Venice, 5. 1)

Have you ever noticed that if you are on a vacation and you don’t have an exact itinerary, you tend to start later each day? Thus it was yesterday and we and we didn’t really get started with the fun until the middle of the day. We did some window shopping…ok, yes did some buying also, in Cedar City then went to the crystal Inn and had High Tea. YUM!!!

I found a new favorite flavor…Spiced Chai. Can’t you just smell and taste the deliciousness of it just by the name??? It was tasty! Then we accidentally happened upon a fair in the city park. There was an interesting assortment of people at the fair...no, they were just weird! We didn’t stay too long.

We really wanted to get up to Cedar Breaks National Park. It is just up the canyon from Cedar City about 15 minutes away. It is absolutely breathtaking! I know I said this about Kolob Canyon but there is no other way to describe it. Here are a few pictures from various outlooks along the road:







There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember, and there is pansies, that’s for thoughts…There’s fennel for you, and Columbines…(Hamlet4.5)

Eileen conversing with Billy Boy



Meanwhile, back at the Festival......

Tart boy...we kind of follow him around buying the amazing tarts!

Me visiting with David Ivers and Fred Adams before the show.

We were highly anticipating seeing The Merchant of Venice.

It is one of the best plays. I know I say that a lot about Shakespeare but this one is a gem! Here are a few of the best quotes from this play:
Nature hath framed strange fellows in her time. (1.1)
I do know of these
That therefore only are reputed wise
For saying nothing. (1.1)
They are as sick that surfeit with too much, as they that starve with nothing.(1.2)
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. (3.1)
It is a wise father that knows his own child. (2.2)
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit. (2.6)
He is well paid that is well satisfied. (4.1)

I know you have heard of many of these, not knowing they were lines from Shakespeare. Those are just a few of the “shorter” gems in this play. Now for the review that I am sure you are all so eager to hear!

“Merchant” is probably one of the more controversial plays that Shakespeare penned because of one character and that character is Shylock, the Jew. I have blogged about my views of this play last year when I saw Southwest Shakespeare Co. perform it in Mesa. I still feel sorry for Shylock and the way the Jews were/are treated, so I won’t go into that commentary again (if you want to read it you can look in my post archives, April 2009).

This play was phenomenal! I think the two most important roles that you really need to have cast right are Shylock and Portia. This particular play was cast perfectly in these two parts. The part of Shylock was played magnificently by Tony Amendola.

He was so believable in the role as the shrewd businessman, the caring father, and as I stated, he was sick of being treated unfairly in Venice. I don’t condone revenge but sometimes you get pushed to that point where you don’t really think rationally and I think after being abused, losing his daughter, and being robbed by her, I think he was a broken man, and lashing out at the only thing he could and that was Antonio. That is why he was so unforgiving and would not back down on wanting his “pound of flesh” to pay back his bond!
Portia was played by Emily Trask. She has been in several shows at this Festival in the past and she was luminescent in this! She was perfect. You felt for her in the predicament that she didn’t have a choice in who she would get to marry. Instead she was bound by her dead father’s plan that her suitors must choose one chest out of three and whoever chose the correct one would win her hand. She had many humorous suitors and that is part of the fun of this play. But her best lines come at the trial of Antonio when she is masquerading as a “learned doctor” and dispensing justice. Also the scenes with Bassanio (Grant Goodman) are very sweet and romantic.

I could keep going on and on about how wonderful this production is but I will leave it by saying, this is another one you just can’t miss! Three out of three perfect plays, what more can you ask for? I will leave you with this last quote from the play:
Portia to Shylock--
The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
The Merchant of Venice, 4. 1

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