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Monday, August 08, 2016

Continuing in an automotive vein for just a moment, CLA reported that the tire pressure light came on as she was coming in from Rochester for a visit, so I went with her to Delta Sonic to check it out. Checked the air, ran it through the wash, filled it up and bought her an iced coffee, so it was the complete Dela Sonic experience, and I was thinking that it was like a Chuck Berry song, you know? "Wipe the windows, check the tires, check the oil, dollar gas!" In actually it was just a dad outing, like a horrible Harry Chapin song. Nice to see CLA, though-- Kyacking, then "The Taming of the Shrew". The latter was much better than the review suggested it would be. For no good reason the players were dressed as pirates-- they might as well have been Pittsburgh Pirates for all that the context added anything-- but it was energetically performed, which is, I think, part of the key to making the play work. If it lags then you start to think of it as a play about spousal abuse, and that wrecks it. It is, I think, possible to understand it differently. One should start with a question that is never expressly asked: why is Katerina so ill-tempered? One reason that the text suggests is that she feels slighted because her sister is the favorite. Her behavior is reinforced because she receives attention and thus reinforcement when she behaves shrewishly. Petruchio shows her how unattractive her conduct is, and demonstrates respect for her cleverness and strong will. The two leads were excellent-- and a special shout-out to Bonnie Taylor, who was an excellent Kate. 

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