Today, my friend Samantha came to visit from Maryland, and we went to one of my favorite places, The American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia, to see a production of Macbeth. This theater prides itself on productions that are “traditional” in the sense of using certain stage conventions from Shakespeare’s time, such as performing on a bare stage with minimal sets and “universal lighting” (ie, the stage is lit the same as the rest of the house, although obviously using electricity rather than the candles they would have used in the Renaissance). The program also listed a whole lot of other things the play would not be doing, such as suspending a dagger from a string or casting Macbeth as the third murderer. On the other hand, the theater did continue its tradition of incorporating modern music that is ‘relevant’ to the play (the pre-show entertainment included acoustic performances of “Mack the Knife” and “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” from The Lion King). Although neither of us could figure out exactly why “A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down” was considered relevant (there’s no poisoning in that play, and not very much comedy). Anyway, the performance was good, and we walked away concluding that MacDuff “wins” the play because he is the only one who ever says what he means. Also, that Malcolm kind of needs to be punched. My opinions on who should get punched in Shakespeare plays rarely lines up with who this actually happens to, though, which might be the actual definition of tragedy.

During the (not inconsiderable) car ride, we couldn’t listened to music because neither the CD player nor the cigarette lighter-ipod hookup in my car works anymore, so instead we talked about music, or, anyway, we talked about bands, which means I learned more of the background of My Chemical Romance’s “Danger Days” and also what the various members of Fall Out Boy have been up to since the band split up. It snowed a little on the way home, though it was the kind of snow that’s not particularly threatening; still, not the number one thing you would choose to see when riding over a mountain.

Then we got back to my house and watched the 2009 live recording of “Darkness on the Edge of Town” out of the new Springsteen box set, along with a couple episodes of The Office (this time last year, I was semi-snowed-in up at Samantha’s house and we marathoned season 2, so I thought it was only fair to show her the recent episode where Pam has to get Michael to understand that Ryan doesn’t love him.)

Our current status is that Samantha is writing and listening to Danger Days. I’ve been reading Scott Pilgrim (when not blogging) and will likely return to the last volume of Scott Pilgrim, if I don’t just pass out and fall asleep.