‘Woke Up Wanting to Re-read Moby Dick for Dewey Read-a-thon

Moby Dick from NoExit Performance on Vimeo.

I am making a slow start to my first time participating in Dewey’s 24-hour Read-a-thon, I’m afraid.  I woke up at 4am and 5am, but when the alarm I’d set for the 7am starting time sounded, I tapped it off and allowed myself to fall back asleep until 9:30am. My head was full of the live theater show I saw last night and my body wanted to let me spend more time with it.

The show was an adaptation by Julian Rad of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick.  An Indianapolis-based theater company called NoExit Performance produced it.  Director Michael Burke’s design team included Ryan Mullins, Tommy Lewis, and James Capps.  The cast of beautiful yet believably rugged/salty men included Bill Wilkison as Captain Ahab, Scott Russell as Starbuck, Rory Willats as Ishmael, Zack Neiditch as Flask/Capt. Boomer, Benjamin Scheutz as Stubb/Carpenter, Max Jones as Queequeg/Capt. Gardiner, Jake Swain as Elijah/Perth, and Chris Szostek as Sailor/Mastead.

NoExit’s staging included what fellow theater blogger Jay Harvey called “apt choreographic ornamentation” (i.e., dancing, but more like dance company dancing than musical theater dancing) and a surprising and exhilarating way of conveying the feeling of the men dropping down in small boats from the large ship to get close enough to the whales to harpoon (or attempt to harpoon) them: they climbed up the “rigging” at the back of the stage, put their legs through the tattered sails and leaned back, so that then it looked as if we were looking down at them sitting in their boats while we were still with Ahab and Starbuck on the deck of the Pequod.  Flashing video components and stirring recorded music enhanced that effect.  It was all very cool.

And heartbreaking.

If I had a copy of Melville’s novel here at home, I would abandon the TBR pile I made for the Read-a-thon and re-read Moby Dick instead. I read it for the first time a few years ago because I thought I should, and it was a slog. Gah! Seriously one of the most boring classics I’d ever read. But NoExit’s creative staging of it – and Julian Rad’s loyalty to the “thee” and “ye”s of the original writing – makes me want to attempt to plumb its riches again.

But since I borrowed the book from the public library when I read it before, blogging about the show will have to be enough for me today.

Now…I have a cup of hot Earl Grey tea with milk (sacrilege to some people, I know, but I prefer Earl Grey with milk rather than lemon), I have put on my chenille kitty robe (I’ll get dressed after I done some reading), and I huffed and polished my reading glasses.

On to the Read-a-thon!

P.S. – I didn’t realize I had this blog set to keeping comments for me to monitor them before they posted. When I went to pull the “Moby Dick” promotional video from my email, I saw THREE COMMENTS waiting for me on my previous Indy Reading Habit post.  How thrilling! Thank you! I will see if I can figure out how to turn off the capturing quickly before I start reading whatever I do decide to read for Read-a-Thon.

© 2015 Hope Baugh

5 thoughts on “‘Woke Up Wanting to Re-read Moby Dick for Dewey Read-a-thon”

  1. Irene from Team Mr. Popper here. I hope you’re enjoying the readathon so far. Please remember that it’s all about having fun, so if you feel more like snacking than reading, then go ahead. This event is the perfect excuse for snacking!
    I’m sure you’ll reach your goal. You can do this!

Thanks in advance for your courteous comment.