Sunday, May 2, 2010

Top Ten Shakespeare spin-offs

Who doesn't love a good ol' Shakespeare spin off?

#s 9 and 1o. Ten Things I Hate About You and She's the Man-- Two sterling tween movie adaptations of classic Shakespeare comedies, namely The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. Set in modern (or what was modern in 1999 and 2006) highschools, these movies are charming, some-what-ridiculous, spin offs on Shakespeare.

#s 7 and 8. West Side Story and Kiss me Kate-- Although both are Broadway Musicals, these two adaptations could not be more different. West Side Story (by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim) is a tragic retelling of Romeo and Juliet through the lives of West Side gang members. Cole Porter's Kiss me Kate, on the other hand, is a comic story of the lives of two sets of actor couples as they all four star in a new musical based on The Taming of the Shrew. With posters like the ones above, how could they go wrong?

#6. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead-- This play by Tom Stoppard is a retelling of Hamlet from the point of view of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Alternately comic, baffeling, and poignant, there is no denying that this play really rocks.

#5. Millais' "Ophelia"-- this painting speaks for itself.
#4. "They All Want To Play Hamlet"-- This poem by Carl Sandburg gives me the shivers.

#3. Rufus Wainright's "Sonnet Twenty Nine"--breathtakingly beautiful.
#2. Sassy gay friend-- These hillarious Youtube videos by the second city theater company show what would have happened had various tragic heroines had a sassy gay friend to cheer them up.

The ones for Desdemona and Ophelia are also well worth watching.

#1. Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet-- If you haven't seen this... I don't even know what to say to you.

-Hamletmachine, by Muller
-Shakespeare in Love