Saturday, April 22, 2006

Taming of the Shrew

Everybody and their gawking tourist brothers are here on island. It's sunny weekend approaching 70 and the classic cars are also on the road - lookin good and cruisin' at a smoking 35 miles per hour. However, I can roll down the windows and blast my music at the cars waiting at the town stoplight. Yes, I am playing Beethoven's Symphony number 6 or as it is also known, the Pastoral Symphony. It caused at least three young men pounding out foul mouthed lyrics to look at me funny then roll up their windows. Ha! Watch out or I might get all crazy and Wagner on you. Do you really want a little economy car full of small children bearing down on you with Wagner coming from the windows? I didn't think so (or worse Liszt, the unlistenable Hungarian).

I started watching perhaps the best Elizabeth Taylor movie last night, Taming of the Shrew (1967). This one of those perfect adaptations. Directed by Franco Zefferelli it is as exuberant as his Romeo and Juliet, just a year later, was poignant. Richard Burton plays Petruchio to Taylor's Kate and it is the perfect role for him - swaggering and lustful. The sparks fly and Taylor is at once sympathetic and bitchy. The hidden gem here is Natasha Pyne as Bianca, Kate's dutiful quiet sister. All through the performace she simpers, flutters and blushes and manages to convey Kate's temper just under better wraps. By the final scene, Petruchio's infamous wager to the other newly wedded husbands, it comes as no surprise that Bianca has co-opted the britches in that marriage and Lucentio (Michael York) has many years of haplessness before him.

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