Tuesday, April 19, 2005

How About a "D" for Did My Homework?

My colleague and theater buddy, Renee Rose, sent me a funny email yesterday. She and her husband, Harvey, are part of a group of eight people who sit together at shows presented by the San Francisco Best of Broadway series.

Renee reported in on the group's experience seeing Shakespeare's "As You Like It" Saturday night. Renee, of course, read up on the show (including the plot twists) ahead of time and loved the show. The other seven were bored out of their minds and even threatened to leave at intermission.

Renee, a former High School English Teacher, has declared the next time Shakespeare comes to their series she's conducting a mandatory class for her co-horts ahead of time.

I guess I just did the opposite with "Play Without Words." I really enjoyed the show Saturday night. But I can't say I "understood" it. The ending seemed ambiguous to me. (I later read Matthew Bourne meant to represent multiple outcomes, so no wonder I was confused.)

But yesterday I rented the 1963 movie "The Servant" that Bourne's play is based on. Trippy movie. Black and white. But now I'm even more confused. In the movie the manservant and the housemaid are engaged to be married but pretend to be brother and sister. (I didn't get any of that Saturday night.)

In the movie there's a scene where the manservant is using a telephone booth and four young women bang on the booth demanding that he finish his call and let them use the phone. (It's a weird scene and I still don't get the point.) Thinking back on the show Saturday night, a phone booth is prominently featured but I don't know why.

So I'm afraid even though I've done my homework, Teacher Renee would give me an F on the test.

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