November 13, 2004

Let's Get Mello--Go West

EL 266 designing the set for The Girl of the Golden West

Ah melodrama! The genre of too many exclamation points and excessive fainting fits.

I haven't read melodrama before. I have watched old movies, based on melodramatic principles before; you know, the ones with the guy with the black mustache tying a damsel to a railway line? Oh yeah, and the Whose Line? spoofs of melodrama. So really, the only impression I had of melodrama was interpretations by others.

How different things are when you experience them!! Sorry for the overuse of exclamations; they tend to be habit-forming.

In my critical reading of a work, I tend to write in the margins, usually connecting writers to one another. In one section, for example, I likened the story to Romeo and Juliet. This comparison is a little demeaning to Shakespeare's work (artistic and crowd-pleasing), but nevertheless applicable. Bear with me here, I tend to get a little connection-happy.

When Johnson is saying goodbye to The Girl in the final scene continually makes references to Johnson's death. "There's only one way out of Cloudy--and I'm going to take it," he says, and later, "In a few minutes, I shall be quite free." Finally he almost blurts it out: "You've brought me nearer Heaven." The undertones are unmistakable.

And now for the comparison. When Mercutio is dying, he downplays his wound as a scratch, denying the sword's effect with humor to spare Romeo for the moment, but still stating the facts through that humor. "No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door/ but 'tis enough, 'twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man."

I am not quite sure if the audience knows that Mercution is really dying, but I think they have the inclination that something is wrong. Just as in the The Girl of the Golden West, the audience knows more than the characters, at least for the moment. It just makes me want to scream on stage, in either play: "He's going to die!" Now that would be melodramatic. :-)

So now that I have Shakespeare rolling around in his Stratford grave, I think I will cease my prattling, and move on to other pursuits...

Posted by Amanda Cochran at November 13, 2004 2:20 PM

That activity seemed to make the time fly...I was so confused where the time had went. At least the presenters before that activity were productive. *smile*

Posted by: Stephan Puff at November 14, 2004 10:29 PM

Sarcasm becomes you, Stephan. ;-)

Posted by: Amanda at November 14, 2004 10:58 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?