File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 235

Date: Sat, 15 Nov 2008 17:43:02 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Updating old art for contemporary understanding

In the mid 1960s I saw Zefferelli's ROMEO & JULIET onstage in Rome. It was quite different from Zefferelli's earlier film version--it looked like an old print brought to life. Being performed in Italian meant that the translation did not have a problem with archaic English words. And the show was a hit with younger audiences because it was "just like "West Side Story", which of course WAS an updating of Romeo & Juliet.

Currently, "Spring Awakening" is a rock opera based on an 1890s protest play---another updating of old material. The performers are in 1890s costumes but they carry individual microphones, perform under the latest stage lighting to a rock beat. The 1890s teen angst has no problem communicating with a current young generation. Things have not changed that much.

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