I still think one of the most fielded questions I’m getting regarding the opening of Pericles is if it’s in verse or not, or how much of Shakespeare’s language exists in the show vs what might have been added by us if we’re calling it an ‘adaptation’ – which we were, originally.
Truth is, we’re probably better served in saying that Pericles is based on a story and characters created by William Shakespeare. Just the same as the musical Spring Awakening is based on the play by Franz Wedekind or how RENT is based on Leoncavallo’s story and characters of La Boheme – or even as West Side Story is based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
So we’ve tried to remove words like ‘adaptation’ in favor of saying ‘based on’ – because that’s wholly more accurate.
How much Shakespeare is there directly in the text? Very little. None at all in the book, to be honest. The only bit of verse in the show at all is in the lyrics to the song Viper, which is the riddle given to Perry by mob boss “Fat Tony” Tirelli. If Perry gets the answer wrong, he dies. If he gets it right? Let’s just say Perry doesn’t like his chances either way.
I am no viper, yet I feed
On mother’s flesh which did me breed.
I sought a husband, in which labour
I found that kindness in a father:
He’s father, son, and husband mild;
I mother, wife, and yet his child.
How they may be, and yet in two,
As you will live, resolve it you.
Here’s a sneak-peek at one of the slides used in the video portion of the show – “Fat Tony” and Gina Tirelli (Chris Perez, Katie Castonguay) plus Perry (Stephen Ray).
So please, fret not. This is more Sopranos than sonnets. We’re not coming out in big frilly collars or going to bore you to death with lengthy speeches in a pattern suited to put many to sleep. This is a completely modern presentation that requires absolutely no knowledge of (or interest in) the source material. Of course if Shakespeare’s your thing, you’ll likely grok on seeing what we did to it, and how it’s different than/the same as the source material. We can’t stress enough that this is a standalone experience.
And, for what it’s worth – Pericles isn’t quite Hamlet, so I doubt any Willy-philes will get too worked up. To quote The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Pericles “falls into the category of Shakespeare’s plays which scholars refer to as ‘The Apocrypha,’ or in some scholarly circles ‘The Obscure Plays,’ or ‘The Lesser Plays,’ or simply, ‘The Bad Plays.’ And yet, not all of the apocrypha are without merit. In fact, one of them, ‘Troilus and Cressida,’ is hardly crap at all.”
We have two weeks to opening, and we hope to see you opening weekend. We have a special surprise at the end of the show – a literal grand finale to not just the show and this 2008-09 season but to 10 years of Jobsite. We’d love to be able to share it with you.
Don’t forget – we still have promo codes for those of you who might be strapped. Here are the deals again:
- Preview is Wed., Aug. 5 at 8pm. Tickets to that are just $10 for anyone. if you’re student, senior or military you can get a ticket for $5 with cash and valid ID as of 30 minutes to curtain at the Ticket Office window.
- We’ve also opened up a $5 ticket for preview for anyone who might need it. $5, anytime, just use promo code BROKE when you order.
- Can’t make preview? We’ve also done a 2-for-1 deal for opening night, Thu., Aug. 6. Get your tickets for what amounts to just $12.25 each by using promo code 2FER.
- And keep in mind student/senior/military rush is available to any regular performance at a cost of $10. Cash only with proper ID as of 30 minutes to curtain at the window.
Sat., Aug. 8 is already SOLD OUT. 8/7 and 9 are at about 75% of capacity. As always, we advise tickets be purchased in advance since shows often sell out. Particularly Saturday nights – we cannot at all recommend you just walk up prior to a Saturday night show to but a ticket unless you call first to ensure there is still availability. Saturdays are our most popular shows, and our theater is small!