Othello in a Nut Shello…

July 8th, 2008

Prior to the opening of Othello, which was this year’s selection for Kansas City’s Shakespeare in the Park, there was a puppet show put on by Paul Mesner.  
Paul wrote a fifteen minute rhyming version of Othello, which was so much more compelling than the actual Othello, that I almost converted back to puppeterianism.  But then I had a really bad flashback, and I managed to stop myself.  
Paul’s show was highly entertaining, funny, and somehow mysteriously lacking in all the twenty minute monologues where the actor tells you what is going to happen and then the actors do what the other actor said was going to happen and then the actor tells you what is going to happen next and then the other actors do what the other actor said was going to happen and then the actor says I will now do this and then he does it and then he says this is what will happen next and then the other actors do whatever he said… on and on and on.  It makes you wonder if Shakespeare was just either really tired when he wrote Othello, or if was just TOTALLY CRACKED OUT!!!  Because it is a really BORING play! And none of it makes any sense!
However, in Paul’s puppet version, there is not time for a bunch of stupid boring monologes…
They just act.  
And they speak in short clever rhymes.
And they speak quite well, for a bit of painted plastic that does not even have a movable mouth!!!  
Plus, Paul did all the voices himself!!!
As a former professional puppeteer (full of hate for the art form), I know how hard that is!
Hark!
What Lo!
Behold!!!
If only the real Iago and the real Othello did not have movable mouths!
The real show might have been so much more enjoyable!
To prove my point, I will give you a brief synopsis…
This is Othello (the one in the purple apron) with Iago in the apricot cape.
Iago is an evil villain who talks a lot and then he talks some more.  And just when you think all the fluid has leaked from your brain and you can’t listen to a single more word out of his villianous mouth… he talks even more.
Othello is also a great talker.  The thing about Othello is that while he is talking and talking and talking and talking and talking… he is constantly saying that he is not much of a talker, making him possibly even more irritating than Iago.  
This is Iago giving Cassio some booze to trick him and make him die.  
Cassio is on watch and not supposed to have booze.  
Plus Cassio can’t handle his liquor so he should never drink.  
But of course he does.  
Because if he didn’t this whole stupid story would never even have happened.
In the meantime 
Back at the ranch…
There is a hanky
And the hanky is the star of the show.
The End!
Not really!
Because Othello NEVER ENDS!!!
It goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and ON!!!
And then four VERY STUPID people die because of a hanky.  
Here is Othello strangling his sweet, stupid wife because of a hanky.
And even though she is dead (because Othello kills her two times) she comes back to life just long enough to say that she loves her little smoochy woochy Othello and that just because he killed her stupid ass, does not make him a bad guy.
And then she dies again!
A few minutes later (read hours) Othello stabs himself because he is a dumb ass and also because he is a total stupid head.
And then we all left.
But I am pretty sure the show is still going on.
And that Othello has killed his wife AGAIN!!!!  
The bard totally rules…
But everyone writes a stinker once in a while.
This has been the Country Doctor’s Wife world renowned Shakespearian critic, reporting to you from her messy bedroom.

Comments

  • Literarysnob:

    Shakespeare in any form is great!!I hope the play may instal a love of the olde bard in them!

  • Jenni:

    Your Othello experience sounds a lot like our La Traviata experience. Dh thought it would be cool to try something classy like opera instead of the usual hot wings at Hooters. (Kidding! I don’t allow that!) Boy was he wrong. That woman just would. not. DIE! She spends the whole dang opera coughing, lying down, on her death bed, and then popping up to sing her little diseased lungs out. She was such a tease. Each time she would lie back down or pass out on a couch we thought, “Yay! She’s finally dead!” only to be utterly, abysmally disappointed. When she finally did die, I wanted to stand on my seat and cheer and then start a wave going across the crowd. I haven’t read or watched Othello yet, but I agree that everyone writes a stinker now and then. Personally, I think the guy was a genius with words, but a lot of his plot lines kinda suck. Does Romeo and Juliet make anyone else want to puke? Quite well put and all, some very witty lines, but the plot makes you want to kill the stupid, whiney characters yourself.

  • Jenni:

    Your Othello experience sounds a lot like our La Traviata experience. Dh thought it would be cool to try something classy like opera instead of the usual hot wings at Hooters. (Kidding! I don’t allow that!) Boy was he wrong. That woman just would. not. DIE! She spends the whole dang opera coughing, lying down, on her death bed, and then popping up to sing her little diseased lungs out. She was such a tease. Each time she would lie back down or pass out on a couch we thought, “Yay! She’s finally dead!” only to be utterly, abysmally disappointed. When she finally did die, I wanted to stand on my seat and cheer and then start a wave going across the crowd. I haven’t read or watched Othello yet, but I agree that everyone writes a stinker now and then. Personally, I think the guy was a genius with words, but a lot of his plot lines kinda suck. Does Romeo and Juliet make anyone else want to puke? Quite well put and all, some very witty lines, but the plot makes you want to kill the stupid, whiney characters yourself.

  • noble pig:

    It is so hard to imagine Othello as a puppet show…I mean it goes on and on when it’s not a puppet show…you must go see to the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, oregon…you would Luhhuuve-it.

  • Margaret in SC:

    Ah, Othello, kinda like the “Song that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends….”.Synopsis=hilarious.

  • Heidi:

    DANG! I am horrible, but I clapped when she died…. I try to feel bad about that fact, but I cant….

  • Heidi:

    DANG! I am horrible, but I clapped when she died…. I try to feel bad about that fact, but I cant….

  • Andrea:

    Ironically I just finished Bill Bryson’s book on Shakespeare two days ago and then stumbled upon your blog and this post. Probably the most perfect synopsis of Othello ever!

  • Anonymous:

    If you loved Othello puppets, get your hands on a copy of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)http://dvdplayground.com/index.asp?id=1210&upc=0 You haven’t seen Shakespeare until you’ve seen three skinny actors rap Othello. And psychoanalyze Hamlet.

  • Fred Farnsworth:

    I haven’t read or watched Othello yet, but I agree that everyone writes a stinker now and then. Personally, I think the guy was a genius with words, but a lot of his plot lines kinda suck. Does Romeo and Juliet make anyone else want to puke? Quite well put and all, some very witty lines, but the plot makes you want to kill the stupid, whiney characters yourself.