Thursday, May 18, 2006

A day of rest, finally, after a week of ceaseless evening activities. I'm hoping to build upon my rediscovered restfulness by building upon it tomorrow evening, but we shall see. The International Open Mic at The Bookworm received some wonderful media coverage in Beijing this week with the release of the June issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Read about it on the Subterranean Poets website.

Arle-poster-final-thumbAs it is The Year of Italy in China, something I've mentioned here before, there are quite a few events in Beijing which showcase different parts of Italian culture. I went to see a play on Tuesday evening at the Tian Qiao Theater called Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters written by Carlo Goldoni which was marvelous! The comic play featured some Venetian-masked performers. I could hardly understand a word with my limited Italian, but the performance was still highly entertaining. The main character, the man pictured here, Arlecchino, really stole the show. His antics and, as the title suggests, his predicament, provided for many hilarious moments.

The stage was sparsely set bearing a large wooden platform on which the actor's performed. The only other stage adornment was a kind of clothesline curtain contraption for a backdrop. At intervals during the three-act performance, some musicians would appear from offstage and provide wonderful transitions or accompaniment for the players. One other interesting feature of the performance was an old man who was seated next to the wooden platform who seemed to be observing the play and following a script. At certain points, he would interrupt the scene and compliment an actor or suggest a variation. It was a very nice effect and one I had never seen before. I like to watch plays, rarely do it, and never read them, so my awareness is relatively limited. And with that said, if you get the chance, try to catch this performance at a theater near you.

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