Archive for the 'Anne Hathaway' Category

Shakespeare Song Parody: I Schemed a Scheme

Friday, January 11th, 2013

This is the 19th in a series of pop-music parodies for Shakespeare fans.

Enjoy!

I Schemed a Scheme
sung to the tune of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables

(With congratulations to Best Supporting Actress nominee Anne Hathaway…)

There was a crime here in my mind,
When I’d find these wives,
And I’d come a-wooing.
There was a crime to rob them blind,
And I would earn their trust,
And I’d be their undoing.
There was a crime,
Then it all went wrong.

I schemed a scheme so long ago,
When a desperate man could earn a shilling.
I schemed the husbands would not know;
I schemed the wives would be more willing.
I never gave a second thought,
For schemes were gold, success expected.
There was no fear of getting caught,
No trap unsprung, no purse neglected.

But they put me in a basket,
And they threw me in the river.
Well, it might have been my casket,
And it turned my scheme to rage.
They would not let me in their lives;
They left me soaking in a shiver.
And I must blame the merry wives
Of Master Ford and Master Page.
And still I scheme they’ll come to me,
And they will open up their purses.
But there are schemes that cannot be,
And there are blessings turned to curses.

I had a scheme these wives would be
So different from the way I found them;
So different now from how I schemed.
These wives have killed
The scheme I schemed.

Another Story

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The Klaxon invaders lit up the starship corridor with weapons fire, as Alliance scientists and technicians dove for cover on the other end. Klaxons had a reputation for ruthless violence, but nothing could prepare you for your first encounter with them. It was likely to be your last.

This starship seemed an unlikely target. The captain recalled how a mundane scientific mission had turned noteworthy by the addition of the President of the Intergalactic Council, who decided to join the expedition as an observer. The scientists had been excited by the leader’s visit, and were eager to show him the important work they had been doing. But now, a Klaxon boarding party was attacking, and his life, all of their lives, were very much in danger.

A Klaxon pulse blast damaged a power generator, creating massive interference waves in the electromagnetic field within the ship, which rendered pulse weapons on both sides absolutely useless. What now? Hand-to-hand fighting? Klaxons weren’t known to be skillful in direct combat, but they could likely hold their own against a team of scientists with no battle experience.

Suddenly, the side hatch flew open, and there stood Will Daring, one of the two humans who had recently been taken from Earth, the planet they were currently orbiting. Telescopes had not yet been invented on their world, so it seemed safe to do the experiments close by. The captain had no idea how the male human had broken loose from his containment section, but he had bigger problems.

Will Daring walked halfway down the corridor. Was he fearless, or did he just not understand the threat the Klaxons posed? He bent to the floor to pick up one of the sharp wooden pikes that had been dislodged from its decorative place on the wall by the Klaxon weapons, and waved it menacingly in front of the invaders. The Klaxons took one look at the handsome eighteen-year-old human gesturing wildly with his makeshift lance, and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. They made a hasty retreat to their battleship, frightened off by no more than a boy holding a stick.

When he returned back to his hosts, the captain greeted him warmly. “You have saved the lives of this entire team, not to mention the President of the Intergalactic Council. We are all in your debt, Will Shake-Spear.” It was customary for Alliance captains to grant titles based on achievements in battle, and Will liked the way the moniker rang in his ear. “I have something for you,” the captain added slyly, beckoning Will to follow him into a side chamber.

Once the two men were alone, the captain handed Will a thick packet of paper, bound in a leather portfolio. Will looked through the pages and was surprised to find a collection of 55 plays: Hamlet, Macbeth, Love’s Labours Lost, Love’s Labour’s Won, the titles went on and on. “This is our gift to you, Will Shake-Spear,” the captain beamed, “a collection of plays for you to stage with your theatre company. We have analyzed your simple language, and have created combinations of words to appeal to the primate brains of your species. The stories have been taken from among the most popular in your culture, but the language patterns we’ve created are more complex than anything your world has ever seen.”

“What am I supposed to tell people,” Will responded, “that space aliens gave me these plays?”

“No, you must say that you yourself wrote them.”

“What sane person could possibly believe that?”

“Nevertheless, you must claim these plays as your own, or risk being condemned as a lunatic.”

Just then, the ship was rocked by an explosion. The Klaxons had fired on the science vessel and the ship’s systems were failing fast. The captain rushed to the bridge, while Will Daring ran back to the containment section where he and his companion had been kept. There he found the raven-haired beauty Anne Hathaway. Her bodice had been ripped, exposing the tops of her voluptuous breasts. For a moment, Will found himself captivated by her stunning allure before snapping back to the matter at hand. “We’ve got to get out of here!”

The two humans ran to the emergency hatch, but there were no escape chambers. By now, the damaged ship had broken orbit and had descended into the atmosphere of the planet below. Will Daring recalled a drawing he had seen by Leonardo Da Vinci, created over a century earlier. “I have an idea!” he bellowed over the sound of explosions erupting across the ship. Grabbing some nearby cloth, he created a makeshift parachute, grabbed Anne Hathaway, and jumped out of the hatch.

As the two floated gently to their home planet below, Anne Hathaway looked at Will Daring like he was the only man in the world. He had always felt she was unapproachable to him, nine years older and so impossibly lovely. But now they were closer than they had ever been. The landing was rough, but the two were unhurt. Nothing could hurt them now.

The explosion of the starship turned the sky a bright orange, creating a majestic backdrop for the most passionate kiss either of them had ever known. “Oh darling!” moaned Anne Hathaway breathlessly. “It’s pronounced Daring,” Will responded calmly, looking down at the bulky leather portfolio still in his hands, “but from now on, baby, you can call me Shakespeare!”

Conundrum: The Big Picture

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

This is a new 3D Pic Tac Toe puzzle. If you are unfamiliar with the format, you can check out my last 3D Pic Tac Toe for guidelines.

In this particular 3D Pic Tac Toe, each of the forty-nine themes will be a movie. Each of the three images in that theme will picture at least one actor who was in that movie.

In Image B1, you will use the actors who voiced the animated characters shown, but none of the forty-nine movies in the solution is animated, a documentary, or Robert Altman’s The Player. A few of the movies have not yet been released.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A



Middle Level – Level B



Bottom Level – Level C



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Correct themes provided by Neel Mehta (36), Evan (10), Ken (1), and Rodney G (2). Alternate theme suggested by Evan. See comments for discussion, or click here to skip right to the answers.

Theatre: Twelfth Night in the Park

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Last week, I saw the Public Theatre Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night. It was, in more sense than one, Shakespeare the way it was meant to be performed. For in addition to the clichéd compliment, the production took very few liberties with the play and instead chose to communicate Twelfth Night to us as written. It was one of the best productions I have ever seen.

I almost didn’t get the chance. Rain drizzled throughout the early scenes. The rolling green hills of the set looked like they might get muddy under such circumstances, but theatrical illusion being what it is, they were in no real danger. The roving band members, on stage for most of the performance, were tucked under umbrella-covered seats. In the middle of the third scene, the rain became too much and a voice over the loud speaker announced a “Pause for precipitation.” Julie White (Maria) looked visibly frustrated which elicited a laugh from the audience. We sat in the rain another fifteen minutes before it let up, not to return for the rest of the performance. The actors started over at the beginning of the scene, and we looked on with a renewed appreciation for the opportunity.

The cast was lead by Anne Hathaway, who gave a masterful performance as Viola, the keystone of the ensemble. But what struck me the most was how consistently good each member of the cast was in playing his or her role, together bringing forth the vibrant panoply of memorable characters that makes this play so much fun. For me, the standouts (in addition to Hathaway herself) were Hamish Linklater as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Michael Cumpsty as Malvolio. But really, there wasn’t a weak performance in the pack, and I hesitate even to name those two at the expense of the rest.

The real star of this production, however, was the music. Along with As You Like It, this is one of Shakespeare’s most musical plays. Music is introduced as a vital theme in the very first line: “If music be the food of love, play on.” Scene after scene, music has the power to disturb, provoke, and inspire the passions of the characters. In this production, music is absolutely the driving force, with David Pittu (Feste) brilliantly leading a troupe of musicians around the stage, taking over every scene they’re in. Viola doesn’t sing in the original text, but perhaps director Daniel Sullivan didn’t want Hathaway’s beautiful soprano voice to go to waste, because she is given a song in her first scene as Cesario. (The song, I believe, is borrowed from Measure for Measure.) And, on the night I saw it, when Feste ended the play with “The rain, it raineth every day,” the audience laughed again in a shared joke with the company.

The show will run through July 12. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend you do so. This is one hell of a good time in the theatre.

Conundrum: Pic Tac Toe in 3D, Part V

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Has it really been almost a year since we’ve had a 3D Pic Tac Toe?

In a normal “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, there are nine pictures in a 3×3 grid, like Tic-Tac-Toe. In each of the three rows, three columns, and two diagonals, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the eight themes.

In this “Pic Tac Toe” puzzle, however, there are twenty-seven pictures in a 3×3x3 grid, like a Rubik’s Cube. In each of the nine rows, nine columns, nine pillars, eighteen lateral diagonals, and four cross-cube diagonals, there is a common theme that unites the three pictures. The challenge is to find the forty-nine themes.

Imagine stacking the three levels below on top of one another. For reference, and notation guidelines, check out my last 3D Pic Tac Toe, including the comments. The rules here are identical to that puzzle.

You can click on each image to see a larger version:

Top Level – Level A



Middle Level – Level B



Bottom Level – Level C



Please post whatever you come up with in the comments section.

Enjoy!

UPDATE: Correct themes provided by Neel Mehta (37), ArtVark (4), and Billie (8). Alternate themes suggested by Billie (2), Neel Mehta (3), and Annalisa (1). See comments for all answers.

Shakespeare Anagram: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Saturday, October 6th, 2007

The blog was getting a lot of hits looking for living descendants of Henry VIII, so I posted an answer, and followed up with an anagram version of the answer.

Now, because those words appear on the blog, I’m getting a lot of hits looking for living descendants of Shakespeare.

You can check out the Shakespeare family tree yourself, or you can just read this week’s Shakespeare anagram.

From Love’s Labour’s Lost:

Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives,
Live register’d upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe’s keen edge,
And make us heirs of all eternity.

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Our favorite ultra-premium poet has no living descendants.

Firstly, he begat three basic little prizes (smart trio!) with his gal Anne Hathaway.

Thereafter, son Hamnet fathered none because he kicked it young.

Furthermore, both daughters had children, but none of those unveiled any themselves.

Thursday Morning Riddle

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

I joined Shakespeare in love without knowing someday
That an actress in Princess and Devil would play,
As she’s sharing her name with me, and has a way
Of rephrasing that phrase as my husband might say.

Who am I?

UPDATE: Riddle solved by DeLisa. See comments for answer.

Question of the Week

Monday, February 5th, 2007

I was talking to some colleagues about the upcoming Get Smart movie, and I had to be honest. I don’t have very high hopes.

I was a big fan of the television series, and the movie will have a hard time living up to that. I think Steve Carrell and Anne Hathaway are both good casting choices, both for talent and for box office appeal, but without the creative team from the series (Buck Henry, Mel Brooks), I worry that the movie might seem derivative.

It’s not easy to make a good movie from a television series, and it seems like Hollywood doesn’t even try anymore. They just want to hijack the brand identity of a vague, but pleasant memory to create another mediocre blockbuster. Look at all of the terrible TV show-based movies that have come out in the last ten years or so. But people recognize the name, and so they go to see the movie, expecting to relive their memories of watching those shows from long ago.

In some cases, television shows do make good movies. South Park made for a much better movie than anyone had a right to expect. But that was from the same creative team that did the show, so let’s put that aside for a moment. I did enjoy the first Mission: Impossible movie on its own terms, but as an action/adventure movie, not as a faithful adaptation of one of my favorite shows. If you hold it to that standard, the movie failed. The hero wasn’t even part of the original series. The villain was the hero of the original series. What’s up with that? I have to confess that I enjoyed the Brady Bunch Movie a great deal, but that was a parody, so I don’t know if we can count that.

It seems even more difficult to turn a movie into a successful TV series. Of course, M*A*S*H and The Odd Couple come to mind. I’ve never seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I’ve heard good things.

What makes a successful adaptation from television to movie? Should the goal be to reach out to established fans from a previous generation, or to redefine the essential elements of the original for an audience of a new age? Can a movie that has a beginning, middle, and end, really be extended into a television series without compromising its integrity? Or does the film remain immune to whatever experimentation happens on the small screen?

And some shows that I remember from childhood as being of very high quality are almost unwatchable to me now. If a film were to be made of one of those shows, it might be considered charitable to rework it.

But I digress. On to the Question of the Week:

What, in your opinion, have been successful crossovers between film and television (in either direction), and what lessons do these successes have to teach those who would follow?