INTO THE UNDERGROWTH

 

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I recently attended an exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum entitled Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth. Turns out there is a whole sub-genre of painting called sous-bois, which means undergrowth, that explores the significance of the interior of the forest. Hmmm. I have been exploring the interior of the forest for years now. Here is my latest entry into this genre.

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THANKSGIVING

There is much to be concerned about in the world today but it is always good to pause and take stock of all those things we are thankful for. Let us turn a life of resentment into a life of gratitude. I wish all my friends around the world and here in America Peace and Love.

TRUMP LOVES HATE

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First Trump said Obama was the worst president in history

Then he said what a great man he was

Next he will try to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn

Then some swamp land in Florida

He will bark you down like at a gypsy at a carnival

Try to sell you Christmas cards in June

The ship of state ain’t real estate it’s is now a ship of fools.

TITUS ANDRONICUS

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This is where they disposed of the bodies…..

Titus Andronicus is one of Shakespeare’s more out there plays. It was presented recently by Kentucky Shakespeare at a warehouse in the heart of Butchertown near downtown Louisville just in time for Halloween. How very appropriate in both cases for this was the most bloody and horror haunted of all the Bard’s pieces.

Titus was one of Shakespeare’s early plays and written when he was quite young. It is not one of his best plays but it is certainly one of his goriest. Perfect for the October Country and very fitting fare for Halloween.

Director Matt Wallace gives us plenty of atmosphere by staging the play in an abandoned warehouse with with dark interiors, concrete floors, exposed pipes, and plenty of fog. Lighting  was from utility lamps pressed into service. The play is set in set in ancient Rome but the warehouse space and the costuming of the actors give the play the right horror haunted feel. Just right for torture and mayhem. The cast was dressed in black leather and Tamora, Queen of the Goths, was appropriately outfitted in a black leather corset suitable to her name.

Harold Bloom has called this play a testimony to patriarchy’s ultimate oppression of its females. In an act of revenge, Lavinia, Titus’s daughter, is savagely raped by Tamora’s sons, Demetius and Chiron. Tamora says to them, “…when you have the honey of your desire, let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.” After raping Lavinia the boys cut out her tongue and slice off both her hands so that she cannot identify them.

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Later Titus continues the cycle of revenge by killing both of Tamora’s sons by cutting their throats. He drains their blood and bakes their remains into a pie and then feeds the meal to Tamora unbeknownst to her. When she finds out horror ensues.

The actors were uniformly excellent and the play was as good a Shakespeare as you will see anywhere in the country. Titus Andronicus was a marvel to behold.