Thursday, November 23, 2006

Crushin' on Russians

Last night, I saw the imported Russian all-male 12th Night at Chicago Shakespeare. Sorry it took me so long to post. I had much drinking to do last night, and much eating to do today. Sneck up!

Anyway, lovely, wonderful production, populated by fit slavic dreamboats who are, to the man, glittering film stars in the mother country, appearing in such movies as "Investigation is Led by Experts" and "Siberian Barber."* (The audience was packed with swooning emigrees.) Unlike most English- speaking glittering film stars, these boys can act on stage. Lots to enjoy, but my unrealistic crush of the night turned out to be their Feste. On stage, he was basically Boy George. But how cute at the after party!

I should pause here, and admit a deep, silly, stereotype-laden love for all things Russian. I find the culture- which I know mostly through the literature- to be both touching and hilarious in its extremity. Read a capsule biography of Dostoyevsky and perhaps you'll see what I mean. One cannot choose but laugh. I'm sure it has nothing to do with reality, but often I'll read or hea about something that elicits this unique conception of misery and meaning and say "Ah! how delightfully Russian!" Anyway you could tell this was a Russian version of 12th Night, because the famous party scene didn't really get going until after Toby socked Maria in the jaw. That is, first we lie on the floor weeping, then we down four or five shots of vodka, and THEN we can really start to have a good time.

*titles of films are not made up.


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