I’ll be seeing you

27 Feb

It’s a relief to see Macbeth at the karaoke bar after the show.

The last time I saw him, he was dead.  Lying in a pile of bodies on the stage.  And don’t think I took pleasure in his demise.  I, too, have felt so charmed that no man of woman born could harm me.  But, really, there’s always some fellow from his mother’s womb untimely ripped lurking out there.

Isn’t this better?  Seeing the actor who played Macbeth sing karaoke, I mean.  It dissolves Macbeth into fiction.  He struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.  Now, back to steady reality.

Here’s the truth: all of them–the whole cast–are young, happy and alive.  Tonight, opening night, they’re a little tipsy, but certainly not evil. They’re just my husband’s actors.

I see one of them (Macduff, I think) give Macbeth a slap on the ass as he grabs the microphone and jumps on stage.  They’re chummy.  The witches and Lady M., now in jeans and t-shirts, sing along, laughing, as if nothing happened.

And Birnham Wood never comes to high Dunsinane Hill.  This isn’t Scotland; it’s Illinois.  We’ve got no hills.  No kings or witches or thanes (whatever a thane is).

Your children–all your pretty chickens–are safe.  And everybody sleeps tonight.

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22 Responses to “I’ll be seeing you”

  1. Andreas Kluth February 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    How cool. Your husband seems to be a theater director, by the sounds of it.

    Macbeth is great. It’s the simplest, most action-packed, fastest-moving of his tragedies, perfect as an intro for teenagers. It was my first Shakespeare, I think.

    Oh and yes. Elsewhere you said that Macbeth tragically confused tactics (the means of becoming king) with strategy (the reason why one might want to become king), which brought him down. Him, and a whole lot of others.

    Absolutely. Hannibal was a more nuanced character, admittedly. But as I ponder Macbeth today, I see Putins and Kim Jong Uns or Twos or Threes, Burmese juntas and what not.

    Less bloodily, I even see certain presidential candidates. How can they not be asking themselves, ‘will my way of getting what I think i want prevent me from enjoying it once I have it?’

    • jenny February 28, 2012 at 5:27 am #

      Where’s your Uncle Lulu when we need him?

  2. dafna February 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    awesome jenney!

    is this your alex directing? very avant garde…

    i thought the title was you being clever. that’s mandy singing then? truly amazing and gifted stage actor/singer! so was the troupe singing karaoke to this song or another?

    • jenny February 28, 2012 at 5:36 am #

      Dafna, as you know, I am very, very cool. But not cool enough to know the songs the actors were singing that night. It wasn’t Mandy Patinkin–that was from the show itself. And, yes, he is wonderful.

      I want you to see this (perhaps even better) promo for the production because it has a bit of the dance number. Macbeth should always have a little dancing, right?

  3. Terrell Finney February 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Lovely post! Wish I could have seen the production. What a nice gift to the cast and your (talented) director spouse!

    • jenny February 28, 2012 at 5:37 am #

      He had good teachers, Terrell. 🙂

  4. Christopher February 27, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    ……loved the song……

    • jenny February 28, 2012 at 5:42 am #

      Me too.

      I thought of you, by the way, when Macduff says he was untimely ripped from his mother’s womb, and then we (and Macbeth) hear Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?”

      You introduced me to it. Terrific song.

      • dafna February 28, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

        wow am i really out of the art scene or is this very avant-garde?

        macbeth with music and dance?!

        maybe Andreas is right and this play lends itself easily to all types of performances, but this seems very cool, very avant-garde. congrats!

        we had a professional dancer from a company called “dancing wheels” at the jacob’s bar mitzvah. she signed on with her students as party facilitators but she did a beautiful improvisational dance to the song “Season of Life” from rent for Jacob.

        love poetry, theatre, song, dance, performance art… we even had the chutzpah to play of our favorites “chocolate jesus” as part of the quite slow music between ceremony and celebration.

      • jenny February 29, 2012 at 7:16 am #

        Thanks, Dafna. The production probably fits more readily into the Russian theatrical tradition. That may be why it looks unusual to you. It works for me.

        I like the idea (expressed by my father’s close friend, an enigmatic Swede) that a person could get a fabulous education by doing nothing more than seeing a play every day.

        Macbeth is part of the high school curriculum just about everywhere, including here. You might think that our high school would bring its students to see it. But, no. Poor America.

        By the way, you threw a much grander bar mitzvah than my kids got.

      • dafna February 29, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

        it works for me too! it’s very cool! u nusual in the best possuble way!

        o.k now i’m gushing! really? did you ever go to the web site with the pictures? the social hall was donated by the temple and there were less than 60 guests, at least 40 kids… i LOVE IT that it looks grand. you made my day! everything came from the local closeout store except the cigar boxes and fedoras! and homemade invite! LOVE IT! we have no family in the states, we put “to the XYZ family” on nearly every invite – so glad that most have family of five.

        oh… you must know dancers work cheap. i called them after seeing a free performance to see if they wanted to moonlight.

        chicago by nature is more expense for Everything (much more) as we learned at my niece’s bat mitzvah.
        thanks so much for the compliment.

  5. Wayne February 29, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    It’s always amazing when actors remake themselves so completely into their characters that I forget what the actual people are like…especially if I know the actor in question. There is a unique emotional frisson to seeing a black-hearted villain onstage who is also a good-natured friend.

    • jenny March 1, 2012 at 5:39 am #

      That’s just what I was feeling, Wayne. It makes me think that the play really is about us.

  6. Mr. Crotchety February 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I am so confused. Is that one guy wearing a colander on his head for some reason?

    • dafna February 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      maybe…. for the best possible reason of all? no reason at all.

    • jenny March 1, 2012 at 5:44 am #

      For some reason? It’s right there in the stage directions, per Mr. Shakespeare: “Enter Ross, wearing colander.”

      No?

      OK, look, how should I know? I didn’t direct the thing. And don’t ask me why the witches say “double, double, toil and trouble.” I didn’t write this shit either. 😉

  7. dafna February 29, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    ENJOY! the immaculate confection.

    • jenny March 1, 2012 at 5:51 am #

      Dafna, I love everything about this! What a guy, that Mr. Waits. And he can move too. Thanks.

    • Mr. Crotchety March 1, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      So that’s how he sings that sound. It makes me want to clear my throat about a minute into it. Thanks, dafna. I just went to a Catholic funeral on Friday. You’d think the only person who ever died was Jesus. Someone’s mother died? Well guess what, folks. Jesus died. And did I mention that Jesus died? Have a cracker. Sing with me: Jesus died, Jesus died, Amen. Speaking of Shakespeare, I can’t understand a word of Shakespeare (but I do enjoy watching Emma Thompson in various roles) so I can only diminish this post with my comments. But, my ‘little’ girl is in some sort of Shakespeare competition doing something from Taming of the Shrew. I’m so proud. This is the same person who last night asked me if I ever heard of the Pygorothean (sic) thereom and looked a me like I was an alien when I said I knew the Pythagorean theorem. People are so different when they’re not the same.

      • jenny March 1, 2012 at 9:04 am #

        Mr. C,

        This is a fabulous production of Shrew. Kate is lousy, but this Petruchio is spectacular (and not just because he’s hot, though that doesn’t hurt).

        I recommend it for your daughter. It’s in the commedia dell’arte style and lots of fun. More fun even than the Pythagorean theorem, the funnest of all the theorems…I understand Pythagoras was way hot.

      • dafna March 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

        thanks for the laugh Mr. C!

        well just get yourself a chocolate version and chew it all up, that will show the big guy for taking center stage at a funeral.

        i am SHOCKED however that your “little” one could have a part in Shakespeare and have no knowledge of the pythagorean theorem. WOW! just shocking. cheese whiz… if i wasn’t taught it, i might even have intuit it myself.

  8. Emerson March 5, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    The trams against MacBeth are there until today. But now they are subtler and discrete, even so the result still is the same: the head of the king.

    Beautiful song.

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