5 plays coast to coast in two days: a view of poetry’s transforming role in civic and personal life. In which we consider The Great Comet of 1812, a musical of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, that covers Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and Phantom of the Opera, Hairwhich covers Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which covers Plutarch, and Mark Norman’s and Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare in Love, which covers Romeo and Juliet and Twelfth Night, and Jiehae Park’sHannah and the Dread Gazebo, following her Peerless which covers Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and a little dessert of pie, in the musical Waitress, with lyrics written and performed by Sara Bareilles with a book by Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, and we’ll hear “what’s inside” including the trope of “spontaneous poetry.”
There’s not a lot of it—on the surface—apparently—but what’s there is good-hearted and heart-breaking and moving and shaking, human beings at their humblest and poets at the most yearning and wistful and creative. In this show I reflect on my own poetry about my mother, and being a mother-poet, and the cultural history of mother poets and children poets talking about mothers.
No, not the revenge of the Fifth—this is your Poetry Slow Down, with a special intergenerational Star Wars unit devised by your intrepid geek nerd techy Producer Zappa Johns and host Dr. B, and Zappa is fresh from Orlando, Florida, attending Celebration, the Star Wars gathering, our man on the ground, so to speak, with the stars, on Star Wars, and we’ll have his thoughts for us, its epic meaning to his life, and my reflections of its relation to our times, our very headlines of the day, and U.S. and world history, and poetry (of course), including Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, and the book and film Wizard of Oz, and then of course it’s Mother’s Day, and we’ll slow down for the poetry of that, including my own poem about my mother, and I’ll update you on my trek in the letter and spirit of John Muir’s equally epic-inspired 1000 Mile Walk to the Gulf.