Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kiss Me, Kate. Noisily.

I could get used to this going to restaurants that have their windows open thing.

A friend suggested we eat dinner at Urban Farm House before going to Center Stage for The Taming of the Shrew and I was happy to return to the high-ceilinged place at which I'd recently enjoyed lunch.

They have those huge opening windows on two sides and one of them was open, allowing the evening air in as we enjoyed our pre-theater dinner.

We shared the farmhouse salad, which was a nice mix of organic greens and fruit in the house vinaigrette.

I ordered the Virginia ham Cubano (free-range Virginia ham and pork, locally made organic pickles and organic Swiss cheese and sharp American mustard) and got a delicious grilled pig feast.

My friend got the Tangy Curry Tuna salad sandwich, which did have a great kick to its flavor.

We were the only twosome in the place; everyone else sat in front of a laptop, some also on the phone, some using iPods and not a one speaking, so it was strangely quiet except for us.

Tonight's staged reading by Richmond Shakespeare was of one of my favorite plays about relationships.

I've read all the arguments about how dated the attitude toward the sexes are, but it's really a play about passion with loads of comedic dialogue and a terrific ending, so that's enough for me.

Who can resist a line like "Thus have I politically begun my reign!" from Petrucchio after the first time he beds Kate? Not me.

The beauty of a staged reading is the informality (and the fact that glass of wine comes with the price of admission).

At one point during a passionate argument scene between the lovers, the actor playing Petrucchio lost his place in the script.

The actress playing Kate waited momentarily for him to find his place, but he continued to flip through the pages unsuccessfully.

Finally she yelled, "Page 42!" at him in her most argumentative voice to assist him, garnering a big laugh from the audience.

Improvisation aside, it's those well-crafted words that enthrall me every time. Describing how the groom behaved at the wedding, Gremio said:

This done, he took the bride about the neck
And kissed her lips with such a clamorous smack
That, at the parting, all the church did echo.

Clamorous smacking, now that's something we could all use a little more of.

Am I wrong?

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