THIS FAT OLD LADY’S THEATER TUESDAY – THE BOOK OF WILL

That’s right!  I actually have some theater to discuss this Theater Tuesday! 

Can you believe it?

I can’t.  But it’s true. 

This past Sunday I went to the Foothill College production of The Book of Will. 

It was my first venture into a theater since the pandemic struck. 

I was very happy to note that they required proof of vaccination and required masks to be worn throughout the performance. 

Now, the show. 

I love the concept.  The two surviving King’s Men (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King%27s_Men_(playing_company)) take on the job of gathering all of William Shakespeare’s plays into one book, as the original plays are in danger of being lost to the ages.  It’s a daunting and expensive task and provides (imho) a great plot line for a play.

The play itself was a little uneven.  It just didn’t always “ring true” to my ears because some of the language is period (1619) and some seems quite modern.  The modernity tended to pull me out of the play as it made me wonder, “Is that period?”  I would have preferred one or the other – not a mixture.  And I may just be wrong – maybe children did refer to their parents as Mom and Dad in the 1600s (and ditto for other phrases that seemed modern to me).  I am, admittedly, speaking from a place of ignorance and I’m far too lazy to actually check it out.

There are, however, monologues in this show that are simply gorgeous.  The dialogue flows smoothly and the actors delivered all with aplomb.  I was brought to tears a couple of times.  (Not ugly crying, but a little drippy around the eyeballs.)

The cast runs the spectrum in age from teens to folks my age (yikes!) or at least appear to be (I don’t want to presume).  The sets were clever, clever, clever – using projections to change the venue.  The lights and sound effects were perfect – in as much as you forgot about them entirely; they just blended into the action taking place.

And here is the most impressive thing – the diction was flawless. 

I had no problem understanding any of the dialogue – even when there were multiple people shouting (the same lines together – which can be a total auditory train wreck onstage).

It only runs one more weekend, so if you have the time and inclination, I hope you will check out this interesting play.  Oh- and it’s at the Lohman Theater – so you don’t have to climb the entire (and infamous) Foothill College mountain to get to it!  And for this show – parking is FREE! 

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