Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Peter Shaffer's Amadeus

Oh boy! I went to see this live today, and I loved it!!! It was a great play! Not like the one I remember from when I was a teenager, but it was still awesome!! The cast and crew were a group of great actors and actresses. But like I said, it was very different from the version I remember seeing when I was a teenager. But then that was a different time and place. That was 1987 in Vancouver, WA. I remember ma and pa letting me have only a half day in school so I could get out in time to go see that play! It made me feel special. Just one of those things ya know, where a kid thinks to themself, "Wow! This is such a special occasion for me, my parents even let me skip school!" And boy! What an amazing play it was too!! Most of the actors back then were young, in their 20s. All but a couple of them. I remember having a crush on the man who played Antonio Salieri. He was played by a man named Tom Hammond. I also remember having a crush on another man, the one who played Count Franz Orsini-Rosenburg. He was played by a man named Rocco Dal Vera. And he was a young man!!! Not an older man, like what you see in the movie, or like I saw today. He looked back then like he was in his mid-20s. He may have been too.

I kindof expected to have a crush on the man who would play Mozart. I sort of expected him to look a lot like Tom Hulce, who portrayed Mozart in the most honest way I've seen to date on the movie. But he did not look at all like Tom Hulce. He was a man named Kelley Ray and he was short, fat, bald and dumpy. Not a very attractive man at all. Not like Tom Hulce anyway. He was cute if you like short, dumpy, bald men. Then there was something in the play (both from the 80s and today's) that is not present in the movie, it was a couple of Salieri's venticelli. They were like a combination of court jesters and announcers. The play I saw in the 80s had 2 men playing the venticelli, and one of them, named Daniel Renner, was the cutest man on the stage that day!!! Gorgeous eyes! Gorgeous hair (in his picture in the program)!! Truly a handsome man. Well, today's play had 1 man and 1 woman playing the venticelli. The woman looked like me, and the man was gay. In fact, half the men in today's cast were gay! The man who played Salieri, Mozart, Emperor Joseph II, and the male venticello, they were all gay! That was something that the play I saw back in 1987 did not have. Though I could see a gay man playing Mozart (Tom Hulce was openly gay himself), but gay men playing the emperor and Salieri, well, let's just say that took some getting used to. But no matters, they were pretty good actors.

The only thing that really bothered me about today's play was that Salieri did not have a ponytail and the guy who played Mozart only wore his wig in one scene! Salieri ALWAYS has a ponytail! In every play I've seen him in, and in the movie, Amadeus. I remember even Patrick Stewart playing Salieri in a mock court show, where modern lawyers and the modern supreme court tries to decide if Mozart was actually murdered, or if he did die from disease. It was called 'The Mozart Inquest", and I used to have it on video tape. But even in that show, Salieri had a ponytail. In today's play, he didn't. I wondered if that was part of some new script. If this were really the 1700s, those guys would not have been without them! Mozart also always wore a wig. In the movie Amadeus, the only time you see him without one is when he is in his home. That kinda bothered me. Because without the wigs, they looked fake. Not like they were supposed to be performing characters from the 18th century. Today, Mozart only wore a wig once, and it was in his opening scene. One thing I will give today's portrayal of Mozart credit for, his laugh was exactly like the guy's on the movie! Made me laugh every time!

Another thing that really bothered me, Kappelmeister Bonno was missing! He was not in today's play. I wonder if that is how Amadeus is now being depicted. He was actually a part of the actual court. I cannot see him not being in the play. I wonder if they did that to save time? I remember when I went to see the play as a teenager, he was played by an older man, much older than any of the other cast members. He was also cute and funny, like most old men are. LOL! I remember in one scene where Mozart was talking about Italian singers being fat and stupid, Kappelmeister Bonno stands up and says "Gratze seƱore". Everyone in the theater laughed, including me! But in today's play, they didn't have the Kappelmeister. I wonder why? I guess they eliminated him because he really does not say much. He didn't in the movie, nor in the play I saw in 1987. Oddly enough, he was mentioned in the scene where he died, and Salieri was asked to take over the role of Kappelmeister.

I still say NOBODY, throughout the course of history, has ever portrayed Mozart as honestly and effectively as Tom Hulce did. And no fooling there! If the images I've seen of Mozart are truly accurate (hard to tell, since all of them are paintings), Mozart was quite an attractive man! Check this out, compared to Tom Hulce:

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