Thanks to a heads-up from my Brooklyn College colleague Michael Meagher, here's something for medievalists and particularly Old Anglophiles in the tri-state area:
Beowulf: A Thousand Years of BaggageApril 9-19th at the Abrons Art Center. For those of you in the region teaching Beowulf this semester, maybe it's not too late for a field trip?
Flawed heroes, sympathetic monsters and haughty professors collide as this hefty poem is rescued from the grasp of 1,000 years of highbrow analysis and transformed into a defiantly raucous musical. Presented by San Francisco's infamous Shotgun Players and New York's infectious Banana Bag & Bodice, this new SongPlay is an irreverent dissertation on art versus criticism in blood soaked Scandinavia! Written by Jason Craig, music by Dave Malloy, directed by Rod Hipskind.
As for me, I'm of course offput by the distinction they draw between art and criticism. As we've seen repeatedly around these parts, and has been enshrined in a certain important volume, the best criticism is a "raucous...collision."
EDIT: Okay, I just posted this, but, what gives?: "rescued from the grasp of 1,000 years of highbrow analysis"?! First off, is there a tradition of engagement with Beowulf preceding Thorkelin? If so, Mssrs. Craig, Mallory, and Hipskind need to shock the academic world with their discovery! Second off, does this "rescuing from the grasp" business mean that the poem itself is poor struggling Grendel and "highbrow analysis" is Beowulf himself? Aargh, methinks this haughty professor needs some mead.