‘Tempest:’ You, us

Kevin Moriarty is a director who embraces the full spectacle of Shakespeare, and while you can disagree with his decisions sometimes, you have to respect his commitment. He likes elements we might consider by-products of the Elizabethan Age, its Hey-Nonny-Nonnyisms: Interludes of courtly ballets and minstrel-strummed songs, arresting, fourth-wall-violating asides to the audience, expository speechifying — everything Chekhov and Ibsen and a host of others steered away from.

But he’s also a director who appreciates contemporary stagecraft: Reconfiguring the structure of plays, emphasizing the astonishing pageantry of an evening at the theater — sometimes taking us out of the play, but often with grandeur. The balance isn’t always an easy one, but it can take your breath away.

There are several such gasp-inducing moments in his staging of The Tempest, starting with the opening scene, set on an airplane instead of a boat. As the wizard Prospero (Chamblee Ferguson, pictured left), like Desmond from Lost, rips the jet from the sky, the stage instantly transforms into a barren wasteland, as stark and beautiful as any set the Dallas Theater Center has ever produced. There are trap doors and bits of magic and flying fairies. It will make you say, “Wow.”

But there are also the many edits. Yes, some of the talkiness is removed, but also some of the scope. And keeping it without an intermission leaves one’s butt castigated by those Wyly seats for nearly two hours.

This Tempest feels more like a series of vignettes than a single story: The comic relief, the sappy romance, the political intrigue, the long-stewing recriminations, bracketed by Ferguson’s Ahab-like Prospero. At first, he’s a vengeful terrorist and hypocritical zookeeper, enslaving his island’s native fauna, the ethereal Ariel (lithe, white-eyed Hunter Ryan Herdicka, pictured right) and its Orc-ish Caliban (Joe Nemmers, delivering us Quasimodo of the mud with poignancy and humor). Then Prospero changes gears, softening and showing mercy, moved by his daughter Miranda’s love for his enemy’s son.

The Tempest is problematic Shakespeare, neither comedy nor history nor classically tragic, but a romance with obscure motivations (how quickly Prospero’s mind is changed by Miranda’s capricious libido, when her suffering for two decades went unnoticed) made more obscure in this version — Prospero seems more like ringmaster than protagonist. Ah, well: The Bard was a better poet than playwright, so let’s give credit to Moriarty for taking this Tempest out of the teapot.

— Arnold Wayne Jones

Wyly Theatre, 2401 Flora St. Through Oct. 9. DallasTheaterCenter.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 23, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Surprise, surprise – Rep. Duncan Hunter filing bill to halt implementation of DADT repeal

It’s like a bad sitcom; one so bad that the writers hand the script out to the audience so they can read the punchlines and sob at how sh*tty the writing is.

One of the authors of this particular flaming turd of a script is California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Did I mention he’s a Republican? He is attempting to best serve his constituents’ needs (I guess economic issues in the Golden State aren’t top priority) by focusing on how to keep the soap from dropping in the showers if gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly. The UNENDING SOAP-DROP CREEP SCRIPT.

This variation isn’t even original, but it’s predictable – get all of the service chiefs permission before signing off on repeal. Miss Mitch McConnell already tried and failed that stale script over in the Senate. (The Hill):

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.

The repeal bill, signed into law Dec. 22 by President Obama, requires only the OK of the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs chairman.

The chairman technically speaks for the chiefs, but they should be included in the debate,” said the aide. “The chiefs are the ones carrying the burden of combat on their shoulders.”

Hunter’s measure would require the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps chiefs to submit to the congressional defense committees “written certification that repeal … will not degrade the readiness, effectiveness, cohesion and morale of combat arms units and personnel of the armed force under [each] officer’s jurisdiction engaged in combat, deployed to a combat theater, or preparing for deployment to a combat theater,” according to a copy obtained by The Hill.

One of the commenters at The Hill hit the nail on the head:

If Repubs are now going to focus on moral and social issues it will be a short stay in the majority for them indeed. Budget, jobs, out of control spending, etc. are the issues Repubs were sent to fix; not our society!!

H/t, Joe @ Americablog.

~~~~~

Related:

* Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Concern With DADT Includes “Hermaphrodites” And “Transgenders”
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

GOP Rep. Duncan ‘Not the YMCA’ Hunter introduces bill to thwart DADT repeal

Last December, during the debate on DADT repeal, Rep. Duncan Hunter was one of the GOPers who led the effort to defeat the legislation. You may remember him as the guy who said the military was “not the YMCA.” Yeah, him.

You’ll also recall that in the House, the bill passed by a very wide margin: 250 – 175. That was a 35-vote pick up from the first DADT vote in May of 2010 and included 15 House GOPers. But, Hunter isn’t finished. He’s going to introduce what SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis called the “killer amendment,” which would add the service chiefs to the certification process. Mitch McConnell tried the same thing in December, on the after the Senate passed the repeal bill. Of course, it’s too late now. But, that’s not stopping Duncan Hunter. He’s obsessed.

Yep, the GOP’s political gay-bashing begins:

A member of the House Armed Services Committee plans to introduce legislation next week designed to put the brakes on repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay troops.

The measure by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) would add the four military service chiefs to the list of those who must sign off on repealing the policy before it can be officially scrapped.

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.

So, this is what the GOP House is going to spend its time doing? Proposing legislation to thwart DADT repeal? After all, only around 80% of the American people support DADT repeal, including some very prominent Republicans. These days, this issue is only controversial for homophobes.

If this is any indication (and it probably is), sure looks like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud are going to have their hands full with their fellow GOPers.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  admin

Someone please buy them a G.I. Joe to fiddle with instead: Rep. Duncan Hunter edition

Of course he is:

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter To Introduce Bill To Blockade DADT Repeal Certification [J.M.G.]

would require the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps chiefs to submit to the congressional defense committees “written certification that repeal … will not degrade the readiness, effectiveness, cohesion and morale of combat arms units and personnel of the armed force under [each] officer’s jurisdiction engaged in combat, deployed to a combat theater, or preparing for deployment to a combat theater,” according to a copy obtained by The Hill.

If that doesn’t work, keep an eye out For Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s followup attempt, The Tie Gay Solders’ Shoe Laces Together In Hopes That They Trip Act of 2011.




Good As You

—  admin

Jessica + Hunter Are Probably Thankful For Thighs That Don’t Touch, Too

I'm not sure which tips of Jessica and Hunter I'm going to use first: Their fashion advice (drip yourself in designers; chicken and turkey feathers) or their cooking recipes (stuffing, with vodka, Twinkies, Starbucks Via, and of course As Seen On TV's fat burning pills). And you thought overeating would make you puke.

CONTINUED »


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—  admin