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Masterdramon writes...

Howdy Greg! Hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving (though at the rate the queue's been filling up lately, you probably won't see this question until 2022, LOL).

I'd like to take a brief break from the flood of YJ questions (with a smattering of Gargoyles and Spidey) to poke your brain as a scholar of the Bard. I know you've stated in the past, most particularly in this post, that you find it impossible to select a single favorite Shakespeare play:


However, I'm curious if you happen to have a LEAST favorite play, or at least ones that excite your senses less than others.

For me, while my scholarship and experience is nowhere near as vast as yours (I've read most, but only seen a couple live...not a lot of Shakespeare festivals in Hawaii, unfortunately), if pressed I would have to say I have difficulty finding much value in TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.

There's little in it that isn't done better in later, stronger comedies, and Proteus lacks the nuance or poeticism of his other villainous figures, even ones intentionally designed to be odious like Iago or cast as such for political (Macbeth) or cultural (Shylock) reasons.

(Made all the more baffling by the fact that he gets a suitably protagonist-y happy ending, with the woman he cheated on and tried to rape five minutes prior no less.)

Just curious if there's something you feel I'm missing, taking in this play solely from the page. While there are obviously some plays that get my mind whirring more than others, TWO GENTLEMAN is the only one I ever came away from outright disliking.

Well, interested in whatever thoughts you're willing to offer. All the best, Greg!

(YJ: Phantoms to kick ass every week, BTW!)

Greg responds...

Two Gentlemen is not a favorite. You'll notice on the above link I didn't mention it. I'm not a huge fan of Merchant of Venice or Taming of the Shrew, either, though I have seen at least one tremendous production of each, that made me see those plays in a new light. I suppose someday I might see a tremendous production of Two Gentlemen, as well. But I'm not holding my breath.

I'm not a big fan of All's Well That End's Well, although the last production I saw (which was just as problematic as every other production I saw) gave me an idea for what I think I could do with it - so I try to keep an open mind.

I've only seen Timon of Athens once. And it's not pleasant. And I've never seen King John, though I hope to fix that this October in Ashland, Oregon.

And even the plays of Shakespeare that I like the most are all far from perfect. I don't really look for perfection, anyway.

Response recorded on April 29, 2022

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The Greenman writes...

My Question is more logistical. I am curious of the process of V.A.s specifically of Star Trek association.

I have been waiting on some actors to appear, but assume some are too expensive. For example I believe that you reached out to Patrick Stewart for a past project and that aforementioned issue left him unaffordable for your desire. I look at others who I haven't expected to see appearing animation projects i.e. K. Mulgrew reprising Captain Janeway.

As a Teekkie myself, I have been hoping more actors show up. One I've been hoping is Erick Avari who has such a unique voice. I also assume the legendary George Takei is practically off limits. Your thoughts, and are you open to the NEW series of Trek actors?

Greg responds...

Taking your last question first, absolutely.

I haven't priced anyone recently. I try not to think about that. Generally speaking, availability is a way bigger issue than cost, especially since the pandemic.

I worked with Kate Mulgrew, of course, on Gargoyles. Would love to work with her again with the right part. There are actually a ton of actors I've worked with before that I'd be thrilled to use again. But timing and role don't always sync up.

I voice directed George Takei on Team Atlantis. But I'm pretty sure that was on one of the episodes that never was completed or saw the light of day. I'm sure I have a cassette tape with his work on it in my storage room somewhere.

Haven't worked with Patrick Stewart, but it would be an honor. And I love Erick Avari. Saw him play King Lear once on stage. He was fantastic. But you have to be thinking of someone at the right time for the right role. It's more of a crapshoot than you'd probably guess.

Response recorded on March 09, 2022

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Anonymous writes...

"Please try to dispel the dark cloud shadowing your face and mind"?

Seriously? Seriously? You just can't help yourself,can you?

Greg responds...

If you mean, I can't help tossing in a Shakespeare reference, then the answer is... I don't want to help myself. I'm happy the way I am.

Response recorded on January 10, 2022

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Todd Jensen writes...

I rewatched "High Noon" over the weekend. ("Outfoxed", as well, but I'm giving it a separate entry.)

What struck me most about this episode this time around was that it was almost a "Shakespeare villain team-up" - Macbeth (and Demona, whom you could describe as a "Lady Macbeth" analogue) team up with Iago (more accurately, a gargoyle analogue for Iago, who's only called that in the voice actor credits). I doubt that Shakespeare should have objected to that, since he'd written at least one crossover himself ("A Midsummer Night's Dream", which blends Greek mythology with English fairy-lore).

I still like the touch of Hudson and Broadway learning to read from the newspaper - poor Broadway's still finding the word "right" a challenge (cf. "The Silver Falcon"). Again, I'm going to have to look through some books on the history of the English language to find out how so many words which sound like "-ite" came to end, in written form, with "-ight". It's probably one of the biggest challenges to someone learning written English.

Broadway's excited cry, as he and Hudson enter Macbeth's library, "Look at all these books!" struck me all the more, when I thought that, to someone who'd been born (well, hatched) and grown up in the 10th century, a library that size would indeed seem miraculous. What a difference the printing press has made!

"Iago"'s cry as "Othello" and "Desdemona" recover control of Coldstone, "I am besieged!", grabbed me this time around - such a dramatic way of describing the struggle within.

And this time, I also noted Coldstone's statement that, as long as "Iago"'s trying to recover control, "no *living* gargoyle" (emphasis mine) is safe from him. It brings home, I think, his awareness that he's now an "undead gargoyle".

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it, still, after all these years.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Marvelman writes...

Have you seen Julie Taymor's a Midsummer Night's Dream? Do do you own the Blu-Ray? What did you think of it?

Greg responds...

I did see it, some time ago. I recall liking aspects of it a lot. I don't own the Blu-Ray. I don't own many Blu-Rays.

Response recorded on July 26, 2021

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Christopher writes...

A random thought has popped in my head. What does Wonder Woman think of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream? After all, her mother is a major character in the play.

Greg responds...

One would hope she's benignly amused.

But she knows that the character called Hippolyta in the play is actually not her mother, but her aunt Antiope.

Response recorded on July 12, 2021

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Paul writes...

Hi Greg! As you're a big Shakespeare fan, I was just wondering if you ever come over to London and check out any performances of Shakespeare's plays at the Globe Theatre? If you do, would you be able to share any memories of your favourite performances there, please? The Globe Theatre's a great venue - I try to get over there every now and then!

Greg responds...

I've never been to the Globe. Last time I was in London, it wasn't built.

I've been to London many times, but not once recently. I'd love to go again, but money is a bit tight these days. I wish a convention would invite me.

Past memories include seeing Ian McKellan as Coriolanus. An amazing Macbeth at a very small theater. I also saw a fantastic Henry V in Oxford.

Response recorded on March 05, 2018

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Marvelman writes...

1) Do you like film/tv adaptations of Shakespeare?

2) Which are your favorites?

3) Anthony Hopkins starts shooting King Lear for the BBC in
September. Excited?

Greg responds...

1. Many of them.

2. Branagh's Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing are favorites. But there have been many others that I've liked/loved/admired/etc.

3. Yes, actually.

Response recorded on March 05, 2018

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Clockwork writes...

Hi Greg

I'm curious to know, have you ever seen Epic Rap Battles of History and are you familiar with any of the battles? There are a lot of good Shakespeare and superhero battles that I'd think you would love. I'm also a contributing user of the ERB Wiki and we are an active and striving community of nerds who have noting else to do.

Thanks for you time and being the best.

Greg responds...

I'm not familiar.

Response recorded on October 31, 2017

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Todd Jensen writes...

I remember your mentioning that in the proposed "Weird Macbeth" story, you'd cast Goliath as Macduff. It recently occurred to me that that would fit the "none of woman born" element (as with Demona earlier) - if in a different manner than the Macduff of the original play.

I don't know if that was one of the reasons you'd cast Goliath for that role, but I thought I'd mention it.

Greg responds...

It's all in there.

Response recorded on June 30, 2017

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