Day 20: Romeo from Romeo + Juliet
Ok, let’s talk about Romeo + Juliet! When I was in middle school, the Baz Luhrmann version of Shakespeare’s most classic love story came out in theaters and I was instantly in love! And we’re talking pre-Titanic Leo love, which is an entirely different kind of love. One year later, Leonardo Dicaprio would become the biggest heart throb on the planet. But for those of us who started our love of Leo off with Romeo Montague, this one’s for you!
But I don’t just want to mention my deep and abiding love for Mr. Dicaprio (which has never diminished, even after all these years) I want to also talk about my love of Shakespeare, which was largely ignited by this very movie. After seeing it (about 100 times) I started reading it over and over again. In fact, my dad got me my own volume of Shakespeare’s works for Christmas that year and wrote a beautiful note to me about how Leo started me down a path and he was happy to have me continue down it. I memorized all the great monologues and would recite them in my room to my collection of beanie babies…I was a really cool kid, I promise!!
To this day, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet is one of my favorite movies and one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays. I’m sure there were teachers that tried to get me to read Shakespeare, perhaps my parents even attempted it. Shakespeare’s plays are enduring and everlasting. They are timeless and beautiful, but for my little middle school heart, it took Leonardo Dicaprio to spark my interest. And look at me now!!
Shirt from my dad’s closet
Pants from Plato’s Closet
Shoes from Goodwill
Necklace from my Granny
It’s becoming a tale as old as time. No… not Beauty and the Beast, but rather, Beauty and the Vamp. You know the one… Girl meets mysterious boy. Girl is resistant at first but becomes mesmerized by mysterious boy’s charms. Boy ends up being the princely undead. Love story ensues.
What I liked most about Freda Warrington’s take on this (encroachingly overused) theme is that she makes the traditional vampirical mythology her own. Which I don’t usually enjoy. But her alterations serve to enhance not only the story itself but the strength of her vampires. No wooden daggers or holy water can hurt these vamps. Neither can sunlight destroy them (or make them sparkle.)
Warrington also brings in a very untouched upon concept by exploring the origins of basic vampire existence and ultimate creation. As well as introducing some compelling religious debates. The existence of God and Satan in a world where vampires roam the earth.
Blood and Wine’s veritable ‘Edward” is a vampire named, Karl who comes to the Neville family in order to search out a way to destroy his own kind using science and laboratory studies. Karl’s counterpart is Charlotte Neville. A quiet, reserved, ‘ugly duckling’ member of the Neville family. Always left in the shadow of her beautiful and charismatic sister. Charlotte and Karl embark on a very exciting journey to save one another and keep their love undead!
I’ve been dying to read a vampire/ human love story where the heroine doesn’t end up sacrificing her warm-blooded, human existence to become a murderous blood sucker. (Buffy never did!!!) Guess you’ll have to read this one to find out if she does or doesn’t! No spoilers here!
All in all this was a very enjoyable book!! I fully recommend giving it a read.
Thanks to Titan Books!
Last night was a night of culture and nerosity all in one delightful performance at 92Y.
Sir Patrick Stewart performed the epic poem Enoch Arden written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in the mid-1800’s. At his side was Emmanuel Ax performing the companion accompainiment on piano written by Richard Strauss in 1897.
I studied piano for 10 years of my life and am now mediocre at best, thanks to being a big quitter at the tender age of 15. You know who is neither a quitter nor mediocre? Emanuel Ax… that’s who!
It is one of the most wonderful things to behold, a true artist who not only understands his craft but uses it to the fullest of his potential. This is a trait Stewart and Ax share.
Patrick Stewart is best known as the Captain of a little starship called Enterprise and for a Trekkie like me, this was such a treat. His voice is at times booming, at times a mere whisper. He has such a melody to the way he speaks. I’d listen to him give orders on a starship. I’d listen to him read Shakespearean verse. Hell, I’d listen to him read the jokes on a Laffy Taffy wrapper.
I haven’t even gotten to the meat of the poem itself. (Too busy waxing poetic about the players to discuss the play.)
Enoch Arden is a tale of love, both enduring and heart-breaking. At the center are three players, Phillip, Annie Lee and Enoch Arden. To read it is to only.partially understand it. To hear it read aloud to Strauss’ music and by such a talented man, is to truly understand it better!!