Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wm. Shakespeare's folksongs about hookers

I just found out that I grew up singing a folksong about hookers.

The song is "Greensleeves" - you know it - and an expert on the music embedded in William Shakespeare's plays is quoted talking about it in a Washington University press release distributed (and, I presume, written) by yet another publicist with a cool name, Liam Otten.

"'Greensleeves,' the most famous ballad tune, is mentioned twice in The Merry Wives of Windsor," says Olav Chris Henriksen. "It's largely forgotten today that the title refers to ladies of ill repute, who were recognized by their green sleeves."

I well remember being a snotnosed kid in Granite City, singing about "Lady Greensleeves" - I had no idea. Sarah Palin, wash my mouth out with soap!

Olav Chris Henriksen plays guitar, lute and something called a "theorbo" in Ensemble Chaconne, which (joined by mezzo-soprano Pamela Dellal) will perform an evening of music from Shakespeare's plays starting at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 6, in Edison Theatre on the campus of Washington University.

Ensemble Chaconne also includes Peter H. Bloom (Renaissance and Baroque flutes) and Carol Lewis (viola da gamba). Dellal is a founding member of Favella Lyrica and a current member of the Blue Heron Renaissance Choir.

The program, reviving one of Shakespeare's own elegant musical puns, is called Measure for Measure.

The rest of the Wash. U. press release veers in and of what I remember to be true from having studied this stuff years ago, so I'll go back to my books and come up with my own story before catching the show on Oct. 6.

Tickets are $15 — $10 for seniors and Washington University faculty and staff, or $5 for students — and are available through the Edison Theatre box office, (314) 935-6543. Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. For more information, call (314) 935-9226 or email jgartley@artsci.wustl.edu.

Or nab my "plus one" comp ticket, since my wife will be home with the tot. First come, first comp'd.

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