Long Beach has a pretty decent Shakespeare company. In their 36-seat storefront theater we have watched, with Tim and others, The Merchant of Venice, Othello, Richard II, one of the Henrys, plus Orson Welles’ version of The War of the Worlds.
Tim asked what was playing currently. I checked their website and recommended what I expected would be lightweight and light-hearted enough for him: The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) with an all-female cast. Tim said he’d rather see The Winter’s Tale, that it is one of his favorites. I keep underestimating his intellectual abilities.
Tim described it afterward to his Danish son as “about jealousy–oh, boy!–kind of surrealistic.” He is riveted by things like this–still. He wrote a sonnet about the play once, years ago:
THE WINTER’S TALE
Ynch-thick, knee deepe; ore head and eares a fork’d one.
Leontes babbles in the draughty halls
and whispers “Horror” from the highest towers
in deadest night, and mutters fitful prayers
heard only by the blank perspiring walls.
What solace for Leontes? As he sleeps
he hears the dusky lovers’ voices, wakes,
in dreams, and she is gone, and all the clocks
have stopped, to mock his loss. Her pillow keeps
her head’s dark hollow. Then he wakes in sweat
to hear, beyond his rasping gasp for air,
her deep and sleeping breath, and sees some tall
and shadowy lover leave her, and all night
he hides, deep down, in shifting hollows where
he does not know, or can almost forget,
his nightmare twin and twisted self, Sir Smile.