The Beastmaster Doing Shakespeare?

Okay; I have this story I tell ad naseum about myself as an ever-so-tender pubescent in 1975: for three bucks, my high school would not only let me out for the day, but actually bussed me to San Francisco to see plays at the American Conservatory Theatre. I went religiously because at the time all I wanted out of life was to run away to San Francisco (that and marry Boz Scaggs, but I’ll talk about that later). I got to see things like The Cherry Orchard (they were big on Chekhov that year) and Die Dreigroschenoper (“Threepenny Opera”). But the crowning production in my mind was Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Now; I love Shakespeare as much as any young, impressionable girl with artistic leanings who wants to run away and live in San Francisco loves Shakespeare, but what made this production special was the actor who played Petruchio: Marc Singer.

Yes, that Marc Singer. Beastmaster Marc Singer. And in this particular production, Marc wore tights so revealing they would have made Baryshnikov blush. I spent the entire play hanging off the railing in the balcony section, trying to get a better look at those tights and wondering why I was feeling kinda funny. Let’s just say after that play, I started lovin’ Shakespeare a whole lot more.

Why the long story?


Well, I told it yet again to a friend of mine; he screamed “I have that on DVD!” I was stunned: after all these years, I learned that an intrinsic moment of my adolescent development had been captured for posterity–not to mention Marc Singer’s pecs. Thus for an investment of $22.46 and two weeks for shipping and handling, I can relive my teenage years and feel funny all over again…

(P.S.–Harry Hamlin‘s in the production as Mariamo, but damned if was able to pick him out. Guess I’ll have to watch the whole thing over. And over. And over….)

What I’m Listening To: Smooth Criminal by Alien Ant Farm. Sure; it’s a little old, but it’s still a kick.

Cite of the Day: this one comes from nobody, an entity who I suspect lives in the same state as I do:

Hartley, M. “Where Is Naomi? : How to Cope at Work When You Just Can’t
Remember Something,” The Senile Librarian, Vol. 6, no. 8 (Dec. 1999).

What I’m Not Reading: I finally finished The Anubus Gates; didn’t wake my husband up after all, but I did stay up past 3:00am a few nights to finish it.

One Response

  1. neil
    neil July 26, 2003 at 10:39 am | | Reply

    I actually saw that production of Shrew, back when I was a kid. It had its flaws, but the scene where Petricho mets Kate, and (briefly) subdues her enough for her father to believe that she has consented to the marriage, is one of the best I have ever seen. If memory serves, the Kate was a little bit of a gal, and Singer just picked her up like a doll and was throwing her around throughout the scene. At the end she is terrified into silence, and just nods when her father asks about the marriage.

    One problem, though. That production was during the Billy Ball era at ACT. Billy was something of a chickenhawk (if you know what I mean), and slept with virtually all of his leading “men.”

    Neil Gieleghem

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