Thursday, April 23, 2009

How well she doth look in bondage

In all my whining and moaning lately about how so many really horrible things happen in April (Titanic sinking, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, the Columbine shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing, tax day, yada yada...) I nearly forgot one of the great things that happened: Sometime in April 1564, William Shakespeare was born! His birthday is traditionally observed today, April 23, so I thought I'd share a couple bits from two of my favorite homages to the Bard.

The Taming of the Shrew episode of "Moonlighting" was my first (remembered) exposure to Shakespeare. I think I was extremely lucky in that. This show allowed my first impression of Shakespeare to be something fun, so that by the time I got to the "boring bits" in high school I was already immune to them. The first play I actually read was Julius Caesar in freshman English class, and I still think it is one of his more dull plays (granted, I haven't revisited it since then). I loathe Romeo and Juliet, after reading it in class after class through high school and college. My favorites are A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night, but Taming of the Shrew always has a special place in my heart. (I also can never, ever hear "Good Lovin'" without thinking of this scene)

In 2005, the BBC aired a mini-series called Shakespeare Re-Told, where they updated several of Shakespeare's plays. My favorite of those is The Taming of the Shrew, starring Shirley Henderson and Rufus Sewell (I have to say I never thought a man could be hot in drag, but Rufus pulls it off...*fans self*...oh, wait back to the blog). Here's a clip from that episode. I'm pretty sure the earlier Moonlighting episode was what influenced my cracked humor enough that I could appreciate this:

(Hint: If you've got Netflix, you can watch the entire mini-series online! Mmmmm, Rufus in heels...oh, sorry)