What's in a Name?

I have a friend who recently wrote an essay for one of his classes on one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I didn't know which of my many blogs to put it in, though, so I thought I'd just put it here since, after all, Romeo and Juliet is a play. The piece moved me so much, that I had to order roses for my wife (flowers are so much more affordable now than when we got married and I had to order ridiculous amounts of wedding flowers - look at those prices.)

Alas, enjoy the essay. It's wonderful.


The Beautiful Rose: Really, What's In A Name?

In William Shakespeare's famous play Romeo and Juliet, the central characters of the same name fall in love but cannot be together because their families are at odds. In a secret meeting together, Juliet wishes that she was not a member of her family so that she can be with Romeo without her family's disapproval. She wonders aloud to Romeo,

"What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;
And for that name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself."

Juliet is inquiring on whether the sweet smell and an appeal of a rose depends on its name, just as her unfortunate romance with Romeo is doomed because of his family name. She tells Romeo to shed his last name so that they can love each other without worrying about their family feud.

Shakespeare's plays fall into one of two categories, comedies and tragedies. Comedies generally end with a wedding, flowers, and celebration, while tragedies end with the death of at least one central character. Romeo and Juliet falls into the tragedy category, as both lovers meet their deaths at the conclusion of the play. Shakespeare's use of roses and flower imagery in the above passage builds anticipation for a happy ending with a marriage that ultimately does not come to fruition.

Roses have been a symbol of love for centuries, long before the dramatization of Romeo and Juliet. People all over the world order roses to mark special occasions, decorate their days of engagement with wedding flowers (http://www.48longstems.com/wholesale-wedding-flowers.html), express their love, and show their feelings to others. The rose is a beautiful flower with a simple name, and yet, if Juliet's musing is correct, the beauty that people find in a fresh rose depends on the name that the English language has given it. If our language used another word to identify roses, the beauty we perceive in a rose bouquet may change significantly.

This question raises the greater linguistics inquiry regarding the relationship that words have with their associated symbols in the world. A great many cultures have words in their languages to identify roses, yet roses are a common symbol of love and admiration shared by many of these cultures. The argument can then be made that the particular word that a given language uses to identify roses is insignificant.

On the other hand, a counter-argument can be made that there are commonalities to the words used to identify roses in each language. This would point to a shared linguistic attribute that is somehow inherently a part of roses, regardless of the language in which they are found. A further counter-argument can be made that some cultures who identify roses in their languages do not share the same meaning as other cultures. A given culture might think of a rose as simply another flower, rather than identifying roses with weddings, ceremonies, love and affection.

Juliet's pondering is worth further consideration. The same question that she raises about roses is often raised regarding personal names. Would a famous movie star, platinum selling musician, or best-selling author have achieved the same success with a different name?

For most people, the question of whether roses are dependant on their name for their beauty is ultimately irrelevant. Engaged couples will continue to use wedding flowers to celebrate their special days of engagement. The secretly admired will continue to receive fresh roses from their secret admirers, and romantics will continue to send roses for their significant others, counting on the rose's established cultural symbolism to express their affections.

Hair on Broadway

The musical Hair, once again running on Broadway, is an exuberant, exciting time. Hair first opened on Broadway in 1968. This revival is the first time the musical has been on the Great White Way in 35 years. You will definitely want to get Hair tickets, as it is great fun for all ages. Baby boomers will fondly recall their youth while teens and twenty somethings will relate to the youth of the characters. Though set in the 1960s and featuring a cast of hippies facing the possibility of being drafted in Vietnam, Hair is no dusty relic of an era gone by. The cast members and director are able to make the show and its music vibrant and relevant to today.

Hair tickets were not hard to get, and thankfully, I was able to get discount Hair tickets. The show would have been worth the price no matter the cost, though. It was that good. The emotions conveyed by the cast were genuine. Their youthful exuberance poured off the stage, as did their fears and worries about pending adulthood and the war.

Hair won the Tony award for Best Revival and it is easy to see why. Even forty years later, the music is still catchy and fun to listen to. The new cast is full of talented singers, especially the woman playing Dionne, who has a bold, soaring voice. If you can find cheap Hair tickets, definitely order them. Dionne singing "Age of Aquarius" is not to be missed.

Even after all these years, the story of Hair still hits home. It is a story of friendship, of self-discovery, and ultimately of realization. Hair recounts an important time in America, a time of social change. Risky and bold for its time, Hair digs deep into issues of race, sexuality, and drug use. And yet, it still has a light side. One thing that makes the cast stand out is their hair. As the title song states, the characters want "Long beautiful hair/ Shining, gleaming/Streaming, flaxen, waxen." It's hard to not be swept up in the joy the lead members of the cast feel about their beautiful, flowing hair.

When you get discount Hair tickets and go see the show, keep in mind that it is a very interactive musical. Members of the ensemble move through the audience, sitting on the laps of audience members in the aisle seats and passing out flyers. Some people like the interaction, others don't, so choose you seats wisely when your order Hair tickets.

The choreography in Hair is spontaneous and thrilling. It truly captures the moment. The entire ensemble is strong but the two actors playing the leads Berger and Claude put in truly stunning performances. Go have the time of your life at the theater, get Hair tickets today.

Chicago the Musical A Timely Classic

Although Chicago was first produced in 1975 and is based on a 1926 play of the same name (written by Maurine Dallas Watkins) it seems as if it were written specifically for our current celebrity-obsessed age.

Roxie, the lead character, is an aspiring star who instantly reminds us of a dozen different fame-crazy contestants on shows ranging from "American Idol" to "The Biggest Loser" who are willing to do almost anything, no matter how crazy or humiliating, to secure their 15 minutes of fame. She only manages to land herself in the headlines when she murders the man who promised to make her famous after he manipulates her into an affair. Her dramatic foil, Velma Kelly, a former Vaudeville star accused of killing her husband and her sister after discovering their affair, is reminiscent of many of the tragically flawed superstars of American culture who have fallen from public worship à la Tiger Woods or John Edwards. Roxie and Velma's relationship could even serve as the model for "frenemy" type public friendships of publicity hungry stars like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears.

With courtroom antics worthy of the best seasons of "Ally McBeal" and a defense attorney, Billy Flynn, whom we can easily imagine defending O.J. Simpson or Scott Peterson in a long dramatic trial that produces daily headlines, Chicago can be read as a condemnation of a fame-obsessed celebrity-worshiping aspect of our culture that has only become more entrenched in our value system in the years since the musical was first produced.

Chicago has much to offer even if you're not looking for a scathing indictment of American culture. The music and lyrics, written by John Kander and Fred Ebb respectively, are absolutely flawless, especially in the context of the book by Ebb and Bob Fosse. If Fosse's choreography doesn't make you want to get up and dance with the actors, musicals may just not be your thing, and if you don't leave the theater at least humming "All That Jazz," I suspect you might be tone deaf.

Chicago is the best that musical theater has to offer, a classic production that continues to speak to our cultural flaws while thoroughly entertaining us.

Chicago tickets can be pricey, depending on when you go and where you want to sit, but the show is more than worth the price. A quick internet search will reveal ways to buy discount Chicago tickets. Once you're sitting in the theater, nobody has to know that you managed to get cheap tickets to Chicago while they paid full price. After all, if Chicago teaches us nothing else, it certainly teaches us that it doesn't really matter how you get somewhere, it only matters that you get there, especially if "there" is the front page.

Jersey Boys Review

I thought Jersey boys was great. The show was at the Hobby Theater in Houston. I took my mom, her friend, and my brother. I rarely have time to do anything anymore because of my Texas Tech classes, so, I was very pleased to have some time with my mother.

The show was downtown; there was a special going on for parking, and I only had to pay $4.50 for a spot. I left my Honda in the parking garage; then me, my mom, her friend, and my brother, all started walking towards the theater. I had previously spent hours looking for discount Jersey Boys tickets, and ended up finding the cheapest Jersey Boys tickets through Ticketmaster. If you do not have much time and you need to find cheap Jersey Boys tickets, I would recommend Ticketmaster up and down.

The show was not what I expected, but it was still good.I expected only a portion of the show to be a musical,but the whole thing was a musical. It was a little more singing than I can enjoy; other than that, the show was spectacular.Jersey Boys comes off as a thorough musical that is a complete biography of the early Frankie Valli. The musical also follows the Four Seasons and their story very closely.

The show opens with a New Jersey neighborhood setting; you see Frankie Valli and a quick scene about him growing up. The show progresses to show the formation of the groups The Romeos, and The Four Seasons. I do not want to tell you everything that happens, it is quite exciting, but I will say that the story is interesting and it explains many Four Seasons songs' backgrounds.

All actors performed very well and there were no mess ups. All singing was on key and it was very believable. Before I got tired of the nice singing ( just me being me), I was singing along. I just wanted to see a little bit of talking, to make the singing more inducing. Overall the show is very impressing, the scenery is extraordinary.

I would definitely recommend the show to everyone, if you love musicals, you will enjoy the show more. The show is worth the ticket prices; if you can buy your tickets ahead of time, you will get them a lot cheaper. You never know though, I had to buy my tickets last minute and I still got them for decent prices. Jersey Boys is the perfect show for a night out with the family, or even a date or field trip. In fact, I am going to suggest to my music teacher back at Tech, that my class should take a trip over to see the show next week.

Lion King Review

My college friend and I had heard from others that this musical is phenomenal on stage, so we decided to purchase tickets to see the Broadway Show: "The Lion King."

At first my friend and I thought this Broadway musical would be more geared towards kids, but we were wrong, since we really enjoyed seeing The Lion King on Broadway live!

Your Lion King Tickets on Broadway can be obtained online, as this spectacular adaptation of Disney's movie on stage, will transport and dazzle anyone into a world of exploding color, mesmerizing visual effects and enchanting musical performances.

The story of Simba and his delightful journey from a small innocent cub to his significant transformation into the epic King he becomes are very well portrayed on Broadway.

To see the show, just select a date and time and most online ticket companies now offer an interactive seating chart on a secure and guaranteed website. For discount seat tickets to see the show on Broadway, there are several websites that offer cheap Lion King Tickets on the net.

There are also discount Lion King tickets with codes and promotional coupons you can use to get extra cheap tickets, and you can find these in ads, in newspapers and sometimes just by asking the ticket-master reservations person.

The acting and singing, for this musical was fantastic, and it was very close to what I recall from The Lion King movie! The person who played the role of "Scar" was awesome. I also liked the colorful costumes the performers wore. All in all I would go to see it again if I had the opportunity.

This lively adaptation of the 1994 Academy Award winning Disney movie and the story of the young lion prince living in the African wilderness are very well performed on stage.

As a precocious cub, Simba spends his time in the grasslands idolizing his father, Mufasa, and shirking any type of responsibility. The story is about love and redemption, and the wicked uncle, Scar, who takes the life of Mufasa, is very well played out.

Simba now has become transformed through tragedy and grows into a fine adult Lion who must fulfill his royal destiny and take on a formidable enemy in order to become King.

Cheap Lion King Tickets can be obtained from various online ticket companies and any student of cinema or film will not want to miss this fun-filled exciting performance on Broadway. It is an exciting tale from Disney where taking responsibility is the main theme of the story, and Simba finally realizes that is "his calling".

In order to purchase your discount Lion King Tickets go online and place your order. You should ask for the best rates before you purchase your tickets, also make sure your seats are in a good location.

This Broadway musical with intense exotic stage-work and many visual effects is also driven by the unforgettable African tunes and rhythms from the music of the Oscar winning song by Elton John and Time Rice called "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."

Overall, I would give this Broadway musical a definite thumb up!