Thursday, March 3, 2011

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

and shakespeare in any language is just as good.
and if you did not know, 'a rose by any other name would smell as sweet' is said by juilet in romeo and juliet, and riley (aka mary kate/ashley) in winning london.

more about that later.

today was grand because it started off with emily and i buying four bars of chocolate at the grocery store. sometimes you have to leave the nutella behind and just go straight for the gold. all four bars were consumed. don't worry, we shared. we decided that because we bought such delicious chocolate it would be best if we took sexy chocolate eating pictures. done
after our lunch break we went on an outing for political science. i think it was technically one of the walks for our paris walks class. but i am not quite sure
we aw all kinds of great things, one which i actually hadn't seen yet: the pantheon. i love this classical style. its just so... classic, for lack of a better word. it was a beautiful day and it was awesome to look up and see blue sky and also see how truly grand each of those columns is.
the highlight of the pantheon was definitely the sprawling crypt beneath it. many noteworthy souls rest in peace down there: rousseau, voltaire, victor hugo, louis braille, etc. there was this neat display on mr. braille with his actual signature.
i decided to hide in the bottom of the crypt staircase for a little bit, but it was cold and creepy so it really lasted only long enough to take a picture.
we did a lot of walking because it really was a beautiful day. we walked around the latin quarter where all the grande-ecoles or paris ivy-leagues are. these schools are intense. students hoping to go take hardcore preparatory classes for TWO YEARS before they can even take the entrance exam. then the exam takes a total of EIGHT DAYS and is six translations and six essays. and if they manage to do well on that they get to take an oral exam. around 25 to 30 are accepted to each school. i don't know how many dare apply!
hooray for awkwardly getting the group almost all together for a picture outside of the ecole normale superieure. it was kind of fun to see french dorms - the students have picture collages on their walls and cling stickers on their windows - and to walk through the halls of the best of the best university. there were people doing all kinds of homework outside. i can't think of anything better. well actually i can. but doing homework outside in france is probably the best homework situation.
everyone thinks it is silly that i stop to take pictures of every other door we see. but i think it will make quite the neat collection when it is all said and done. plus they are all different! i can't get enough.
after our walk emily and i came home to eat a little snack and get glammed up for our evening at the theatre. we had gotten a little tip from Therese that the comedie francaise, a very populaire and important theatre in the middle of paris, saves 65 tickets every night for last minute 5 euro tickets. alls you gotta do is line up an hour before and hope you are in the first 65! we decided it was about time we went to see a show so we did a little research and decided on a shakespeare. we invited the rest of the group to try and get tickets with us, but everyone else either felt sick, had their own agenda, or were not brave enough to try a shakespeare in french. emily and i were not disheartened. we would brave the french iambic pentameter and the like. since it was just the two of us we decided to really dress up, heels and all. i took my red lipstick from day to night, intensify that eye and voila!
note: when wearing high heels take into account that you will not be able to walk to the metro as fast and therefore must leave earlier than usual if you want to arrive on time.
we missed our train and therefore had plentiful time to take fierce pictures while we waited for the next one.
when we got to the theatre we were both so excited and hoped that we would get tickets. it was just so quaint and perfect and right next to the louvre and it couldn't get any better. i think we were probably the 52nd and 53rd people in line, and we got ourselves some five euro billets.
pumped that we got tickets we headed right on in and then had about an hour to explore the theatre. it was so full of goodness. classical statuary, tiled floors, gorgeous staircases and giant chandeliers.
one hall had tons of busts of famous playwrights. single shots please?
when we were allowed to get into our seats we sojourned up to the fifth floor gallerie and sat down on the side. though the 5 euro tickets are obviously not the best in the house, we couldn't get over how absolutely wonderful the whole theatre was, so it did not matter. and we had a lovely view of the chandelier. (for those familiar with the playmill theatre, our seats were not half as bad as the worst side seats at the mill)
i was just so at home in the theatre. it is something that i truly have a passion for. and the play was spectacular. we saw Les Joyeuses Commères de Windsor or the Jolly Wives of Windsor, one of shakespeare's comedies. though perhaps lesser known, it was a typical shakespeare comedy, complete with drag, faeries, drunken dueling, and star crossed lovers. it was in french, and it was three hours long. to some that might sound awful, but i can honestly say that both emily and i were engaged the whole time and we could absolutely follow the plot even though more than half the time it was impossible to understand what was being said. the acting was impeccable, really some of the best i have ever seen. each character was so well developed, and i loved seeing what little quirks each comedian came up with. there was such variety! i was willing to brave the shakespeare because i figured there would be enough over the top acting and body language to follow the plot, and there was. they definitely had us laughing. it was truly quality entertainment in a truly beautiful theatre. the set was intricate and complex and the costumes were perfect. it was a wonderful evening, and everyone who did not come definitely missed out. emily and i couldn't stop saying how much we loved it after it was all over.
i am hooked. i might be going to every 5 euro show the rest of my trip. i do not know why i haven't taken advantage of this before. nonetheless, i feel quite accomplished today. i watched a shakespearian comedy in FRENCH. and really, shakespeare in any other language is just as good.

1 comment:

  1. I was privileged to go to the Comedie Francaise when I was there so many years ago...and again with Grandma Hart when we were in Paris one time. My father liked to go to the Paris Opera on a similar basis--stand in line for cheap tickets--when he was a french missionary in the late twenties. He would be proud of you. Keep it up. Gramps.