“I do love ‘Shakespeare in Love,’” said Doll Piccotto, who plays Queen Elizabeth in the play, which opens at Palo Alto Players on Saturday. “The thing I love the most about it is that, clearly, the people who wrote it made it a love letter to Shakespeare and theater.”
Piccotto recalled seeing the movie, written by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard. “I was sitting there, being a Shakespeare nerd, and loving how many little Shakespeare jokes they worked into it.
“’Give me to drink mandragora,’ and the bartender says, ‘Straight up?’ All the beautiful little side jokes. Some won’t get them, but for those who do, there is the recognition that sparks the love of the words.”
The mandragora line is from “Antony and Cleopatra” — you knew that, right? — and the bartender’s line is the joke. Mandragora was the word, in Shakespeare’s time, for mandrake — a highly poisonous and perhaps magical plant (one well known to readers of the Harry Potter books).
Marc Norman came up with the idea for the screenplay, over years of work. Tom Stoppard was brought in for a script polish, and the movie won all kinds of awards (there are those, me included, who think the best-movie Oscar it won should have gone to “Saving Private Ryan”). Then Lee Hall adapted it for the stage.
Some people think the stage version is better than the movie.
“I see it billed as a love story,” said April Culver, who plays Viola de Lesseps in the Players production, “which is fair, but I think it’s mostly a love story about the theater. … It’s about bringing the thing to life, finding that thing you love, and pursuing it, finding your truth.
“It’s so lovely to be able to perform in a show that has some Shakespeare in it, especially a show …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment