A dear friend passed away recently. That's an interesting expression. 'Passed Away'. She went away. She passed. Anyway, I suppose I should start getting used to it at my age. She was only 60, though. Cancer. She died at home with her family present. She had gone into a coma a few days before. She was one of the dearest people on earth. Her brother was a former lover. Benjamin, if you've read the story of our affair. He loved his sister dearly and they were very close. She had a gay son and Benjamin has been there for him through all his trials of coming out to his family, etc. He even hired him to work for him.
When someone passes I feel this incredible urge to connect with loved ones. When tragedies occur I feel the same urge; natural disasters, 9/11. I called Benjamin and we talked for a long time while he was roaming the aisles of Whole Foods in New York City. I called my sister and an old friend who knew Ben's sister too. Where does that need come from and why don't I feel compelled to connect more often. Why does it take the death of an old friend to make me realize I'm not an island?
My love affair with the Bard began when I was a about eight years old and saw the filmed production of Max Reinhardt's A Midsummer Night's Dream with Mickey Rooney as Puck and Olivia D'Haviland as Helena. I was mesmerized by the magic and the soundtrack by Mendelssohn. When I was a teen I sat in the theatre and wept over the tragedy of Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet; unsure of whether I was more in love with Leonard Whiting or Olivia Hussey. I loved Zeffirelli's Shrew and there's a fun adaptation of the play in the Shakespeare Retold Series with Rufus Sewell as a cross dressing Petruchio. Some of my favorite filmed productions are Kenneth Brannagh's Much Ado About Nothing and his Hamlet. The newest filmed version of Midsummer with Rupert Everett as Oberon and Stanley Tucci as Puck is a lot of fun. Especially Kevin Kline as Bottom and Michelle Pfeiffer as Titania. I loved Patrick Stewart as Macbeth and I'm looking forward to seeing Ralph Feinnes production of Coriolanus. I'm getting ready to direct The Taming of the Shrew this summer and in the past have directed productions of The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer's Night Dream and Twelfth Night. I have been in productions of the Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, As You Like It and scenes from many others. Shakespeare's in my blood. Happy Birthday.
"An artist has always gotta be in the state of becoming"... Bob Dylan...
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