Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cate Convalescing

This may surprise those among you who think the worst of me for my occasionally vocalized Blagnostichettism but I spent all day inbetween deadlines worrying about Cate Blanchett and her head injury. In case you missed it, she was struck on the head in Sydney yesterday while performing Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire. Live theater is dangerous! Seems that Stanley Kowalski -- ever the brute -- threw a radio at her. Maybe Stanley's (Joel Edgerton) aim wasn't true or Cate altered her blocking that night but the prop wasn't supposed to actually hit her.


I'm relieved to read that she's reportedly fine... but I'm still a little nervous. Head injuries are notoriously unpredictable. Gifted actresses are a precious commodity and should never ever ever come to harm. Especially not while they're in the middle of working their magic.

I don't really hear people vocalize this so much but do you think Blanche DuBois is the female equivalent of Hamlet? That Mount Everest role that every acclaimed actor feels compelled to climb.

28 comments:

Ron Cruz said...

Wow, this isn't good news to see first thing in the morning. I so hope it isn't one of those nasty things that can happen with head injuries that sneaks up on you after you think you're fine. The world cannot afford to lose Cate Blanchett.

Jose said...

That's terrible! This version of "Streetcar" is the stuff of wet dreams (with that actress and that director just wow).
And about Blanche and Hamlet I have always believed that to be the utter truth.

Wayne B. said...

Cate will be fine. I think.

I always thought Hedda Gabler was the female equivalent to Hamlet.

Fernando Moss said...

Wouldn't that role be Lady Macbeth?

but I hope Cate is fine... She's great... maybe a lil' bit overused but great anyways.

Murtada said...

Be well, Cate the Great.

Tom Steele said...

I have said for many years that I think the greatest character ever created by an American writer--other than, possibly, Huckleberry Finn--is Blanche Dubois. I'll go to the mat on that.

Arkaan said...

I've never thought of it, but it definitely seems that way: re Blanche Dubois.

Cristhian said...

Ahem! No mention that this is being directed by LIV F***ING ULLMAN!? The best actress ever! Ingmar Bergman's muse!?

dusty said...

I once knew a particularly tragic drag queen who named herself "Blanche Dubois", and ever since then, I've had a hard time separating her creation from Tennessee Williams'. Inexplicably, I think maybe I appreciate the Blanche role more now?

RE: Lady MacBeth. The role was written for a male actor. Although it's become a heavily-sought female part, I don't think it's as meaty as is a role like Blanche Dubois, which was actually written and layered for a woman.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

I always felt that Katherine [Taming of the Shrew] was Hamlet's equivalent...and Dusty yes men played the roles in those days but it doesn't mean that it's a man's role... But Tennessee Williams is excellent but I always felt Amanda Wingfield was more...showy...than Blanche.

adelutza said...

This is a very interesting question. The equivalent of Hamlet for an actress. I must admit I was taken by surprise by it (the question). Really, what is it the to be or not to be of actresses?

NATHANIEL R said...

"the kindness of strangers"

Chris Na Taraja said...

Kate has to stick around so that she can do the 3rd installment of Elizabeth.

There are plenty of roles that have a bit more power for females, including Euripide's MEDIA, or his Hecuba in TROJAN WOMEN, also SAINT JOAN by Shaw, and of course, there's Shakespeare's Scottish Lady.

But many folks consider Ibsen's HEDDA GABBLER "to be" the "female Hamlet"

Good question.

Check out the movie A TOUCH OF GREATNESS, a documentary of a grammar school teacher who inspires kids to act Shakespeare, Sophacles and Shaw. Directed Robert Downy Sr.

Inquiring Camera Girl said...

I'm still not even close to getting over Natasha Richardson's death ... I couldn't handle it if anything happened to Cate Blanchett! Everyone - when you get bonked in the head, go see a doctor!

Ozzie said...

I'd say that the female equivalent would be either Hedda Gabbler or Lady Macbeth, though I do think Blanche is way up there. This would be a great top ten list someday...

Marsha Mason said...

Wow Nat, you're a genius; this Hamlet/Blanche thing is spot on!

They're both beholden to an aristocratic system that's left them dry, both conspired against by most of the other players, and both slowly unravel (though they were half there already) until they're pretty much crazy by them end.

I'm seriously wondering if Tennessee didn't have this in mind! His gift to actresses.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I am completely into Blanche = Hamlet.

Anonymous said...

Agree about the Hamlet/Blanche suggestion. A month ago i had the pleasure of seeing to great actors performing these two roles in London. Jude Law (Hamlet) and Rachel Weisz (A Streetcar Named Desire) were both magnificent.

Aaron said...

Totally agree with the Hamlet equivalent for a female being Lady Macbeth and Hedda Gabler. Thought of that immediately after reading this. But Blanche is a great character too, although Maggie the Cat is the most compelling and vicious female character created by Tennessee Williams in my opinion.

So sorry about Cate though! Hope she is fine! I agree, the world cannot afford to lose her. Hands down the best actress alive right now!

john said...

Sounds quite nasty does n't it? But apparently she's fine and she's already back on the stage, a real trooper. From Sydney the production will be moving to Washington and then to the Brooklyn Academy of Music...is anyone planning on seeing it? Nathaniel?

NATHANIEL R said...

john -- i'll try to go since i love A Streetcar and I'll want to compare her to Patty Clarkson (who i saw in DC) but i didn't hear good things about Cate's Hedda Gabbler.

Anonymous said...

Check out the reviews for Rachel Weisz playing Blanche in London. Looks like Cate has some serious competition on the Streetcar front.

Jim T said...

You people managed to make me start thinking about a remake. Susan Sarandon for Blanche.

Director: Stephen Frears or Stephen Daldry

Chris Na Taraja said...

Although Blanche is a great role, I wouldn't go so far as to call it the female Hamlet. Mainly because the the big moments in that play are almost all Stans Plus Blanche is more like the ghost of the old king than Hamlet. Just visiting and barely there.

I would even put the female lead in JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK closeer to Hamlet than Blanche Dubois.

Actually I'm going to stick with HEDDA GABLER, with the Scottish Lady a close second.

Max said...

Winnie, the sand-locked grand dame in Samuel Beckett's HAPPY DAYS.

"Winnie is one of those parts, I believe, that actresses will want to play in the way that actors aim at Hamlet – a 'summit' part." – Dame Peggy Ashcroft

JoFo said...

I'm seeing this exact show on Monday. I CANT WAIT. I'll keep a watch for flying radios though.

notanotherblog said...

Wayne B: yes, Hedda Gabber seems to be another female Hamlet. I was also gonna say Regina Giddens

Pål said...

Hedda Gabler it is.......And I may go overseas to actually WATCH Cate Blanchett do her magic......