No one does teen rom-com dramady quite like Shakespeare. Even modern(ish) movies like 10 Things I Hate About You or She’s the Man try to recreate and capture the comedy, angst, passion and, yes, drama, of Shakespeare’s plays about young obsessive love.
So what better way to show this than: to lace Shakespeare with some boozing, deliver scene change narration through text message banner above the stage, self-mutilate via cutting, display dramatic threats of suicide, and use karaoke between two people who pretend (unconvincingly) not to be in love? Shakespeare Theatre Company’s most recent opening, Two Gentlemen of Verona, does all of this and more.
One of Shakespeare’s earliest and lesser-known plays, “Two Gentlemen” has the stuff of a true teen drama. Two friends argue about love; one (Proteus) is madly in love, the other (Valentine) swears he’ll never love. Spoiler alert: Valentine is wrong! But things really get crazy when Proteus forgets about his love (Julia), and decides that the only chick for him is Silvia, the girl Valentine loves.
And if teen dramady isn’t for you, how about rock opera? The play is peppered with rock tunes that keep the play moving along. You won’t even need to consult your synopsis to know what’s going on with this installment from the Bard!
Want the rest of the story? Two Gentlemen of Verona is at the Lansburgh Theatre now through March 4. Go to Shakespeare Theatre Company for tickets and show times.
Following are the top arts and entertainment stories each month on Borderstan in 2011. The top story each month was the one that was read by the most readers. The writer’s name is next to each story.
Top food story for the year in terms of reader views? The winner was Photos: Sunday’s Farewell Party at go mama go! by Luis Gomez, followed closely by Danny’s Top 10: D.C.’s Best 2010 Concerts from Danny Shapiro.
Of note: While one gallery closed on 14th Street NW in 2011, another gallery opened. See the August stories below: Irvine Contemporary closed in September and Arts@1830 opened in November.
- January: Danny’s Top 10: D.C.’s Best 2010 Concerts (Danny Shapiro)
- February: Biutiful One of the Best Films of the Year (Mary Burgan)
- March: Photos: Sunday’s Farewell Party at go mama go! (Luis Gomez)
- April: Gary Fisher: Art Changed My Life (Cecile Oreste)
- May: City Empties Out, But Galleries Full of Great Exhibitions (Jana Petersen); and Forgotten Dreams, Unforgettable Drawings in Cave (Mary Burgan). There was essentially a two-way tie between these two stories.
- June: New Exhibits Open at Irvine, Project 4 (Jana Petersen)
- July: The Art of Vandalism and the Launch of MuralsDC (Tom Hay)
- August: Irvine Contemporary Bids Farewell; Closing Party Saturday (Matty Rhoades)
- September: Your Ultimate Guide to Saturday’s 17th Street Festival (Laura Herman)
- October: At the Keegan: There’s a Witch Hunt on in Dupont Circle (Kate Hays)
- November: Arts@1830: Regina Miele’s New Gallery on 14th Street (Kate Hays)
- December: “U Street Portrait Project” Closing and a “Don’t Miss” Exhibition (Luis Gomez)
What’s worse than resorting to seasonal work as a holiday elf at Macy’s?
“… the very real possibility that I won’t get hired.”
So begins the one-man show, The Santaland Diaries, an adaptation of the offbeat, unrepentant, and, yes, snarky tale of David Sedaris‘ season as one of Santa’s helper elves.
If you’re not familiar with Sedaris, he’s a master of observing his surroundings and interactions. It’s his outrageous take on both the oddities and the regular happenings of life that make his writing so freaking funny.
Joe Brack plays Sedaris as a Macy’s elf. He does an excellent job of channeling Sedaris’ humor (if this stuff is funny written, imagine it animated with expressions and voices), while still making the story his own little piece of Christmas hell.
While The Santaland Diaries is practically a holiday tradition — Director Matty Griffths and Brack have collaborated on the production for three out of the last four years — I’d encourage you to see it this year. Santaland’s got what you really need: a good laugh.
The Santaland Diaries runs at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Avenue NW, through December 24. Go to City Artistic Partnerships for show times and tickets.