February 25th, 2006

Relax!  Grab a Book!

10 of 50

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  1. Christie, Agatha — The Unexpected Guest
  2. Dick, Philip K. — Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  3. Cooper, Susan — The Dark Is Rising
  4. Cooper, Susan — Greenwitch
  5. Shaffer, Peter — Amadeus

Since this we celebrated the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth, I thought I should read Peter Shaffer's play. What a fantastic little play! I really enjoyed the seamless presentation, with Salieri floating between scenes, living in the past and the present, and being at once a part of the action and a narrator to the audience. I especially appreciated how Shaffer used Mozart's music, particularly his operas, as metaphors to help emphasize certain themes.

Afterwards I rented and watched the movie. It had been a good 15 years or more since I'd seen it. I found it to be significantly different from the play, which is interesting since Shaffer did the screenplay himself. Perhaps he decided that the different medium of film required a different treatment. I found the movie less focused, with less importance given to Mozart's music as a vehicle of the drama.

I'd love to see this play staged, especially if I can get my hands on film of the original American production featuring Ian McKellan as Salieri and Tim Curry as Mozart.