Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 4 (part 1)

When we last saw Juliet, she had just taken a somewhat dubious temporary coma potion given to her by Friar Laurence. Let's see how that worked out...

I love the musicians in this scene, by the way. They're just out of frame right now, but we'll see them next time...

Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival

A reminder that I will be exhibiting at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (nee Kids Read Comics) this weekend! Stop by the downtown Ann Arbor District Library between 12:00pm and 5:30pm on Saturday and Sunday and say hello! I will be selling the usual t-shirts, posters, and comic books. It's going to be a lot of fun!

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The Ohio Light Opera 2017 Season in 3 Panels Each!

It's almost time for my favorite light opera theatre company's season to start! The Ohio Light Opera kicks off their 2017 season this weekend. Let's see what they have in store for us this year...

We start off with a couple well-known musicals, the first being Meredith's Willson's magnum opus, The Music Man. 

So far so good. Next up is Cole Porter's Anything Goes. 

When you think about Anything Goes, you think about all the great song and dance numbers. You never think about the denouement with the dubious Chinese disguises. That's because it's stupid. 

OLO was kind enough to program the same Gilbert and Sullivan operetta that is playing at the Stratford Festival this year, so I didn't have to draw a new comic of it:

"THIS RESOLVES EVERYTHING SOMEHOW", a.k.a. the motto of most Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. I loves 'em.

From Gilbert and Sullivan to Gershwin, Primrose looks like a nice, typical, early American musical, with lots of couples getting mixed up.

Side note: I really resent drawing 3-panel plays of shows that have more than two couples in them, because it's a real pain to try and fit six or more people in a single panel. 

A lovely Ruritanian romance classic by Sigmund Romberg is up next:

There always has to be a bittersweet operetta in any OLO season to balance out all the frothy, lighthearted capering, and The Student Prince is this year's offering.

Next up is ONE OF MY FAVORITES AAAAAAAAAH I LOVE IT:

I love Countess Maritza. Apart from Die Fledermaus, it's probably my favorite of the Classical Viennese Operetta genre. The music is great and the plot is actually decent. The last OLO production of Maritza back in 2003 probably ranks as one of my top ten theatrical experiences of all time; I'm not even joking.

OK, next up we have this hot mess: 

Don't ask me any questions about this one. I have absolutely no answers, but it's currently in the running for this season's Stupidest Plot in a Musical or Operetta award. I absolutely can't wait to see it. If it's half as stupid as Herbert's Dream City and the Magic Knight, it'll be a real winner. 

And that's the Ohio Light Opera's 2017 season! If you're in Midwest, seriously think about checking them out - they've perfected the art of balancing the madcap stupidity and unapologetic melodrama of operetta and early American musicals, and it's always a delight to watch them. I can't wait to visit them in August!

Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival

In other news, I will be exhibiting at the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (nee Kids Read Comics) this weekend! Stop by the downtown Ann Arbor District Library between 12:00pm and 5:30pm on Saturday and Sunday and say hello! I will be selling the usual t-shirts, posters, and comic books. It's going to be a lot of fun!

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Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 3

Zero hour is rapidly approaching. Let's see how Juliet deals with this...

Confession: I kind of love Juliet's speech where she freaks out about all the things that could go wrong upon taking the Friar's potion. She goes from "death" to "waking up and being all alone in a tomb" to "being driven mad and playing with the corpses of her family" to "bashing her brains out with a bone".  

And then she goes and takes the potion anyways. That's badass.

Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 2

Let's see how Operation Take A Non-FDA Tested Temporary Coma Potion In Order To Get Prematurely Entombed is going...

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I've been trying really hard to come up with other punchlines besides "what could possibly go wrong", but that's such a perfect punchline for this play that it's REALLY HARD not to use it as many times as possible.

Top Ten Shakespearean Stage Corpses

So, last month one of my Tumblr followers posed the following question:

jmujaneway asked:

Hiya! Someone at lunch said there's a debate as to which Shakespeare character spends the most time dead on stage. I figured you'd know! Please help?

I offered up my best guesses (Caesar and Desdemona) and then Tumblr took over, with nellololol going to far as to do some in-depth research and provide us with some line counts. This was far too fun to leave alone, though, so I've done my own line-counting and here are the results!

Now, Bassianus and Humphrey are somewhat debatable, as they can conceivably spend part of their "dead" time hidden in a pit or behind bed curtains respectively. However, I have seen both languish on stage in person, so they are included. Conversely, I don't think I've ever seen a Romeo and Juliet production that actually included the "real live body" of Tybalt in the final scene, but I have heard of those that have, and that have similarly had a "real live body" of Caesar in the funeral scene. 

If we go by the has-to-be-on-stage-dead-the-entire-time-no-chance-of-being-swapped-out-for-a-dummy matrix, however, the winner is Desdemona. Take a bow Desd-- oh wait, you can't. You're dead.