Love Through the Ages
By Erika Jenko
Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and for some, the holiday can mean many different things. For some couples, it could mean finding an extravagant restaurant to eat at and booking the reservation weeks in advance. For other couples, it may mean laying low and ordering pizza and playing Battleship. For some single folks, it may be a night to hang out with friends and celebrate singledom, while others may contemplate past relationships. No matter what you’re status, I think we can all agree that when it comes to those intense feelings of love, no one has written about them better than Mr. Shakespeare. His play, “Romeo and Juliet” has become one of the most famous love stories of all time. The popularity and power of the play has lingered for so long, that a person can be called ‘Romeo’ for being a romantic, or ‘Shakespeare’ for easily describing his feelings. While Romeo and Juliet were the most romantic scripted couple of the stage, there have also been a lot of real-life romances of the great white way throughout the years. Here’s a few favorites…
Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne
Bob Fosse & Gwen Verdon
1) Alfred Lunt & Lynn Fontanne
Known as the king and queen of Broadway, these sweeties were together for 55 years and were so lovey dovey and perfect for each other that a broadway theatre was even named after them. They regularly appeared on-stage and toured together and were known for working on the original productions of “The Guardsman” and “Design for Living.”
2) Bob Fosse & Gwen Verdon
A dancer and a choreographer met and it was a match made in heaven (if you turn a blind eye to the fact that Fosse and Verdon had to legally separate due to his infidelity). What made their union so perfect, was their talents and vision were a perfect fit. Fosse, a choreographer best known for “Pippin” and “Sweet Charity” was stylistically a perfect partner for Verdon, who was a dancer in “Can-Can” and “Damn Yankees.” The highlight of their career was working side by side on “Chicago.” Fosse sat in the director’s chair leading a cast that included Verdon as Roxie.
3) Patrick Page & Paige Davis
He’s known for playing the Grinch and the Green Goblin on broadway, and she’s known for the show “Trading Spaces.” At the beginning of their career, these two lovebirds met in the first national tour of “Beauty and the Beast” as Lumiere and Babette.
4) Arthur Laurents & Tom Hatcher
Laurents (Book writer of “Gypsy” and “West Side Story”) and Hatcher (actor) met in Hollywood before the start of their 52-year relationship. Although Hatcher left the world of entertainment later on in his career to pursue a career in real estate, Laurents continuously used him as his artistic advisor.
And there you have it. Love. It’s everywhere. Haven’t gotten enough of a fix? Not to worry. Below are some of Shakespeare’s sonnets featuring some more love.
From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauty's rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou, contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed'st thy light's flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thyself thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel.
Thou that art now the world's fresh ornament
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content
And, tender churl, makest waste in niggarding.
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world's due, by the grave and thee.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
- Erika Jenko
O, never say that I was false of heart,
Though absence seem'd my flame to qualify!
As easy might I from myself depart
As from my soul, which in thy breast doth lie:
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd,
Like him that travels I return again,
Just to the time, not with the time exchang'd --,
So that myself bring water for my stain.
Never believe, though in my nature reign'd
All frailties that besiege all kinds of blood,
That it could so preposterously be stain'd,
To leave for nothing all thy sum of good;
For nothing this wide universe I call,
Save thou, my rose; in it thou art my all.
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