Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Circuitous Motion Brings us to The Cosby Show

Note: New, Improved Version of this post
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“Shakespeare.” By Matt Robinson. Perf. Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Roscoe Lee Brown, and Carl Anthony Payne, II. Dir. Jay Sandrich. The Cosby Show. Season 4, episode 5. NBC. 22 October 1987. DVD. Urban Works, 2007.
It took a strange, long time to get there, but I arrived at the Shakespearean moment in The Cosby Show.

It started with the Campbell Scott Hamlet (which people, inexplicably to me, seem to admire beyond all singing of it—more on that later), and ended up with Theo and Cockroach singing something of a rap version of Mark Anthony’s speech.

I was trying to figure out where I’d seen Roscoe Lee Brown (pictured above) before. He plays Polonius in the Scott Hamlet. In a search of IMDB, I saw that he had played a role in a Cosby Show episode entitled “Shakespeare.” Fortunately, our library had a copy readily-available.

Another episode seems to have some Macbeth-related material, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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