Monday, July 02, 2007


Hanging with a certain Dane . . . and I don't mean Cook

Maybe it's just that I've lived almost three years in the city responsible for most of the pop culture in the 21st century, but I always scoff at the people who decry the kind of art you see on movie or TV screens, the folks who rage against rock music or rap or whatever.

Basically, anyone who believes that modern culture is no match for the classics, well, let's agree to disagree. If Shakespeare was alive today, he'd be writing in Hollywood . . . probably with his own show on HBO. Mozart or Beethoven? Dude, we'd all be crowding into stadiums to see their concert. People would wear T-shirts advertising the tour dates of whatever the 21st century version of the 5th symphony would be.

If you want to ask me about opera . . . well, I have no answer for you. The less time spent thinking about opera, the better.

None of which is to say that I reject the classics, either. There's some good stuff in there. Which is one of the reasons that Our Woman in LA and I ventured out last night to the Hollywood Forever Cemetary to see a production of Hamlet.

(The other reason was that this production featured Eric Hunicutt, the guy who introduced my bride and me, as Gildenstern).

Fun show all around. There's something to be said for a ghost story told in one of the world's best known cemetaries - final resting place of Douglas Fairbanks, Jayne Mansfield, Tyrone Power, virtually all of old Hollywood . . . and, of course, of Joey Ramone.

The locale brought a certain eerie quality to the show. It was cold and damp last night (by cold, of course, I mean the upper 60s). There was an open grave. When Ophelia drowns herself toward the end, the actress actually threw herself into a reflecting pool just 100 yards from the Fairbanks tomb (which served as the tomb of Hamlet's father for the production).

Always fun to go see a friend in a show, but this one made for a particularly good time. I'd been itching to get out to the cemetary (they show movies there in the summer and around Halloween), and this was a great first visit. The wife and I are headed back in a few months when the same group puts up MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

But seriously, now, in Hamlet, you've got an obsessive young man seeking revenge for his father's death, plus ghosts, sword fights, a couple of femme fatales, and comic relief characters who bite it on the way to England. You're telling me this isn't multiplex material?

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