The Food of Love —
Shakespeare plays almost always have songs in them. Even Hamlet features a little ditty that the gravedigger serenades the dead with as he goes about his grisly work. In Othello there is a tavern scene where Lieutenant Cassio has one too many and some singing is called for as a way of facilitating the Cassio’s boozing. This scene takes place after I finish the role of Brabantio, so naturally Ruben asked me if I would be game to take part in the singing and drinking at the “Tavern in Cyprus”. My answer was yes but with one proviso – I must be allowed to wear an eye patch. Ruben agreed and I am going to be carousing with Cassio, Iago, Montano and a brace of Cyprus gallants. I can hardly wait. In hindsight it seemed Ruben agreed pretty quickly. He probably knew that if he didn’t I might start lobbying for a peg leg and a hook to round out my buccaneer ensemble.
Of course we had to rehearse our two brief songs and that turned out to be a fun and sweet moment as we gathered round the piano and learned our parts. Ruben was sitting next to the Music Director Derek Weiland taught us our parts. Ruben’s smile got bigger and bigger as we put the parts together and began blending our voices. Two other cast members picked up guitars and played along, improvising as we get into the swing of it. One of the reasons I love working in Theatre is that there are so many people with multiple talents. Every actor is often a singer and dancer as well. and there are always musicians around. I suppose that is why parties for and with show people are always so, so, much, much fun In a half hour we went from zero to a really good little musical interlude.
With business done, the guitars still out and everyone feeling musical we were almost obliged to have an impromptu jam session, and jam we did. When Ruben produced a harmonica things took a decidedly bluesy turn and Flor De Liz Perez starting belting out some “Iago Blues”
As our friend Willy Shakes says “If music be the food of love, play on”. Well I’ve just sat down at the feast and I plan to eat my fill. And I’m going to see about getting Ruben to green-light a peg-leg and a hook.
More to come.