Just past midnight, so still the 22nd to me: Andy and I went to The Winter’s Tale at Shakespeare & Company with Jonathan Epstein as Leontes, Johnny Lee Davenport ast Polynixes, Elizabeth Aspenlieder as Hermione and an excellent Corrinna May who made Paulina work-- lots of others-- Jason Asprey as Autolycus, Ryan Winkles, who gets better, as Florizel. Malcolm Ingram in a few parts, such a trouper, Wolf Colemen as the young shepherd/clown. His dad directed, but he is a good clown anyhow. We had spitting seats, second row, and I really liked this production-- it’s to me a tough play because of its totally un-modern psychology-- the blast of evil jealousy that just overwhelms everything, whoosh, and the 16 years later introduced by a character called Time, the crazy living statue, the “Exit pursued by a bear” which was my only disappointment as there was no bear, only a horrified Antigonus. Overall, I could hear the lines, I was convinced by Jonny of real feelings in the king sick with jealousy-- the Apollo’s revenge was nicely done and truly moving when the king denies the truth of the oracle and gets blasted with death-- the Shepherd’s festival full of Shakespeare & Company hijinks-- but mostly, it was just that once again, somehow, they made the play work.
It helped that I had seen it in the past and not gotten it, and I could hear better up close, that they always make sense of more lines than not, and especially, Corrinna May’s active Paulina made a lot of sense of what was going on-- and Epstein’s Leontes was masterfully sympathetic. Anyhow, I was glad read the Marjorie Garber essay, and glad I’d heard the lecture on the tape, but mostly glad that S&C do their thing so well, that they exist and have given me Shakespeare. Altoghter uplifted and happy and looking forward to doing it again soon.