Annals of Musical Beauty (continued): Facebook Karaoke Miranda stinks up our "Tempest" / Brandauer's "Mephisto" / (in Hollywood he tortures Girl Scouts)
[I couldn't find Kent's Prospero.]
Grrrr .... I didn't want to mention this, but she also put a Bad Smell on my favorite Shakespeare play. Me and the Missus woke at dawn and drove hours thru a blizzard to catch the train to NYC to see Frank Langella as Prospero znd the remarkable B.D. Wong -- he created the role of the beautiful Chinese actress who seduced the French diplomat (true story I think) in the play "M. Butterfly" -- as Ariel. That dude was flying all over Calypso Island, and he didn't use any wires. What a great show! "The Tempest" was his first role after his smash success in "M. Butterfly."
And Langella was magnificent, he truly cast a magic spell on the theater. The buzz is that this was Shakespeare's last play, and Prospero's farewell speech was Shakespeare's farewell (like GG's '81 Goldbergs) to the theater.
SPOKEN BY PROSPERO
Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint: now, 'tis true,
I must be here confined by you,
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got
And pardon'd the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands:
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
We've talked about "Mephisto," but you've seen it? The sequence in which the young Schauspieler is appointed director of the prestigious theater by his Nazi friends, and for his first big project does an Aryan interpretation of "Hamlet" is a combo of Laff Riot and Mega-Creepy. I got to scare up more Brandauer euro-flicks. Over here, he always plays Der Villain. (But we pay him very well to torture the Girl Scout!)
Forgive me if I am slow and unresponsive this week. My Big Computer had a meltdown and is in the fixit shop, so I am limping along on the SONY laptop. I ask all atheists to pray for my PC's quick recovery.