My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

Beth Kaplan logo

The emperor has nothing to say: “Spades” by Robert Lepage

My fellow theatre-goers are still in the theatre, while I’m already at home writing to you. I just walked out of Robert Lepage’s “Spades.” Three hours without an intermission, so that means there’s still ten minutes to go. I don’t understand. The man has an incredible imagination, there’s no doubt about that. He knows how to do magic tricks on stage, this time with a phenomenal set like a spaceship with bits all over the place that rise and fall – we’re in a casino, we’re in a tent in the desert, we’re in a swimming pool, all evocatively portrayed by this amazing set. The actors, too, incredible, playing myriad roles.

So why am I here and not there? Because to me, this play is saying nothing. At least, nothing I don’t know. It’s saying lots of important things: war is hell, war is about power and control, and being a gay soldier makes things worse. Gambling is addictive and destructive. Being an illegal worker in the States is harsh if you’re sick. Hmmm, what else? Things whiz by about string theory and George Bush as a villain – I’m okay with that. But all of that flash and dazzle – all those doors rising up out of nowhere, just so someone can knock on them and then they vanish again – in aid of a script that says absolutely nothing we don’t know. This is a play about a very clever set and the director’s very clever use of it. And I say phooey.

Some of the reviewers are saying this is a simple show in comparison with Lepage’s others. Simple! Pity the poor stage manager, there must be a thousand cues or more. Cue door rising, door falling, cue smoke for the swimming pool. There’s one brief scene where the illegal maid is having a meal and arguing with a co-worker; for that tiny scene, tables were put up, chairs, a huge counter covered with real food – insane. I remember the first time I saw this man’s work and was stunned – the fluidity and inventiveness of his staging was breathtaking. But it was in aid of saying something. I’d rather imagine a door and hear words that feed my soul.

$65, to see a set. Sometimes I think it would be better not to have such a critical mind – I’d be happier. But dumber. Well, at least I saw one Luminato show. The show I should have seen, I couldn’t get a ticket for – the tribute Friday night to Kate McGarrigle. By the time my life settled enough that I realized I wanted to go, it was sold out. It sounds wonderful, including not only her family but Emmylou Harris, Bruce Cockburn, Peggy Seeger and others. My kind of show – saying something about music and joy and a full, rich life.

It’s Father’s Day, and the baby boy is with his mother and his father. Happy day to them all. I’m at home, muttering to myself about sound and fury signifying nothing. Time for a glass of wine. Oh yes – alcoholism is not good for you, the play says that too.

If any of you who’ve seen it disagree with me, please let me know. I’d love to hear why – convince me. And please – tell me how it ends. In a minute or less.

P.S. And then my basement tenant called to say she’d just got home to find water dripping through her ceiling and soaking the rug. Water water always with the water in my life – one disaster after another. This one wasn’t as drastic as others – the tube that connects the ice-maker in my fridge to the water pipes under the sink had developed a hole and was spraying everywhere. Luckily, my handyman John was home and he talked me through turning off the connection. Half an hour of mopping up.

Back to work.



18 Responses to “The emperor has nothing to say: “Spades” by Robert Lepage”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I've understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely great. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I can't
    wait to read far more from you. This is actually a terrific
    web site.

    Feel free to visit my web site – Abercrombie Et Fitch

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you're working with? I'm planning to start my
    own blog soon but I'm having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I'm
    looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to

    Here is my web-site: Abercrombie Fitch Belgique

  3. Anonymous says:

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that
    you need to write more on this topic, it may not be a
    taboo matter but generally people don't talk about such topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

    my weblog: Air Max

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by accident
    (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!

    My blog post – Michael Kors

  5. Anonymous says:

    Does your blog have a contact page? I'm having a tough time locating it but, I'd like to send you an email.
    I've got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

    my website Abercrombie Bruxelles

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on.
    Any tips?

    Here is my page … Abercrombie and Fitch

  7. Anonymous says:

    I savour, lead to I discovered just what I was looking for.
    You have ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice
    day. Bye

    Feel free to visit my web-site; Air Max 93

  8. Anonymous says:

    Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i
    was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?
    I get so much lately it's driving me crazy so any support is very much appreciated.

    Feel free to surf to my weblog … Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

  9. Anonymous says:

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide
    credit and sources back to your site? My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would genuinely benefit from some of the
    information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you.

    My site Converse Basse

  10. Anonymous says:

    I'm gone to convey my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this webpage on regular basis to get updated from hottest news update.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site – Converse All Star

  11. Anonymous says:

    Stunning quest there. What occurred after? Good luck!

    Here is my web page :: Authentic Evgeni Malkin Jersey

  12. Anonymous says:

    This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep
    a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog
    (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

    Here is my web blog Gucci Borse

  13. Anonymous says:

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post's to be precisely what I'm looking for.
    Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome blog!

    My site :: Get the Facts

  14. Anonymous says:

    Its like you read my thoughts! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the ebook in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few % to drive the
    message home a bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
    A great read. I will certainly be back.

    Take a look at my weblog; Louis Vuitton Handbags

  15. Anonymous says:

    I loved as much as you'll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an edginess over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

    Visit my blog post :: Louis Vuitton Outlet

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after
    I clicked submit my comment didn't show up. Grrrr… well I'm not writing all that over again.
    Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog!

    My webpage Louis Vuitton Handbags

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hello everybody, here every one is sharing these knowledge,
    therefore it's pleasant to read this blog, and I used to pay a quick visit this blog everyday.

    Look at my blog –

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! I simply want to give you a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you've got right here on this post. I am returning to your web site for more soon.

    Here is my weblog – Louis Vuitton Outlet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

Some Blogs I Follow

Chris Walks
This blog evolves. It once was about travels. Now it’s a reason to be at the keyboard that I value.

Theresa Kishkan
Theresa Kishkan is a writer living on the Sechelt Peninsula on the west coast of Canada.

I walk on. With my feet, and in my mind as well.

Carrie Snyder
Wherever you’ve come from, wherever you’re going, consider this space a place for reflection and pause.


Coming soon

A new book by Beth Kaplan, published by Mosaic Press – “Midlife Solo”

Join the mailing list to stay up to date on this and other exciting news.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.