Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Taming of the Streep

This video excerpt, from a 1981 performance of The Taming of the Shrew starring Meryl Streep and Raul Julia (r.i.p.) was posted online early last month and has been busting guts of Shakespeare fans ever since. (H/T reader G.Q.) Two superlative actors at the top of their game hitting all the right marks.

It's tough to imagine a better Kate-Petruchio pair or a more inspired, sexy, vivacious performance. And I don't think it's just the Streep fan in me* that makes me say Shakespeare comedic performances don't get much better than this.

* Don't get me wrong: I think both Meryl Streep and Raul Julia are/were amazingly talented actors. But, true confessions time, only Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles) could claim equal footing with Ms. Streep as a fanboy crush for this blogger as a high school-aged bloke.

1 comment:

Karim said...

Hmm. I've never been fond with what the "traditional" way of doing Shakespeare. The lines feel unnatural and "witty". I'm sure Shakespeare was more of an idol to the hooray-a-cockfight crowd than what most scholars try to make him out to be.

The best Shakespeare ever done was the BBC animated series. Those actors just nailed the roles - they feel natural, but poetic. And the writers - adapting the plays into half-hour episodes - did a marvelous job.

The best three (of the ones I've seen - not all are on YouTube) were Julius Caesar, Macbeth and Hamlet (which was done with oil paint). Give them a look. Hamlet especially - the atmosphere just reeks rotten. Hamlet is always a step away from suicide - just like his writer was.