Naomi, sixteen-year-old daughter of my friend and co-worker Theresa, loves Shakespeare, and we have started taking her to local Shakespeare plays as they come about. Last year, it was Macbeth at the Guthrie. This year, we have a bunch of Shakespeare to potentially squeeze into the next several months. Last night, it was The Comedy of Errors, again at the Guthrie (but performed by the Acting Company of New York). Starting soon at the Guthrie will be The Winter's Tale. Within the next several months at various local theaters are a couple of local productions of Hamlet and who knows what else. We find ourselves being educated in Shakespeare by Naomi and whichever friend she brings with her, sometimes in the car on the way to the theater. Last night, there were a lot of other high-school age kids at the show, all bussed in from the suburbs and obviously more prepped for this play than we were.
The Comedy of Errors was funny and entertaining, though. One thing I don't understand about most recent Shakespeare productions is the reasoning behind updating to modern-day dress and a more current time frame instead of original Shakespeare-era settings. Naomi, the Shakespeare purist, agrees with me on this. If the intent is to make Shakespeare more relevant to 21st-century audiences, then they don't seem to realize that it's the Shakespeare English that is difficult, not the funky Shakespeare-era costumes. Oh well, I guess they all know more about this than I do. I struggle just to get the basics.