The Taming of the Two

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#528: “The Taming of the Two”
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41: In Hot Pursuit
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Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
1Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed-- and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors-- and they have no comforter.2And I declared that the dead, who had already died, are happier than the living, who are still alive.3But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun.4And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.5The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.6Better one handful with tranquillity than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.7Again I saw something meaningless under the sun:8There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless-- a miserable business!9Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:10If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!11Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?12Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.13Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.14The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom.15I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king's successor.16There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

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Current user rating: 92/100 (30 votes)

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The Taming of the Two
“The Taming of the Two” is episode #528 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Nathan Hoobler, and originally aired on October 11, 2003.

Summary

Bart Rathbone wants to make his shop more sophisticated, and Malcolm Lear, a rival of Edwin Blackgaard, has a proposal for him.

Plot

Bart Rathbone needs a classier image for the Electric Palace, but Edwin Blackgaard says it’s out of the question for him to do commercials. Bart goes searching for another Shakespearean actor and finds Malcolm Lear. Malcolm thinks Bart should do more than advertising: why not a Shakespeare festival at The Harlequin Dinner Theatre?

However, Edwin unexpectedly shows up as his theater is being set up for the show. Edwin isn't thrilled about the idea, especially when he learns his old rival Malcolm is in charge of it. Yet rather than give Malcolm a stage to himself, Edwin opts to let the show go on...featuring him as a star, naturally.

The festival’s grand prize—a choice of any item at the Electric Palace—motivates Nick Mulligan and Xavier Washington to work up a Shakespearean act. Whit encourages them to take Shakespeare and adapt it, i.e. perform a Romeo and Juliet scene as if it were a sports movie or detective story. The boys love the idea. Though they pass auditions, Xavier gets tired of Nick changing the script. They argue, and the duo splits.

On the night of the festival, both Malcolm and Edwin have severe colds. Thus Bart must host the event, introducing Nick’s solo act to a very cold reception—until, that is, Xavier calls from the crowd and the two friends perform an impromptu act. Still trying to upstage each other, Malcolm and Edwin end up performing a soliloquy together. Their coughing and sneezing turn Shakespeare into a comedy! Nick and Xavier win the prize, and Bart hires the two of them to do his commercials.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why were Edwin and Malcolm always trying to look better than the other?
  2. How could Nick and Xavier have tried harder to work out their problem?
  3. The two boys won the prize when they came back together. Can you think of anyone with whom you need to reconcile?

Cast

Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Bart Rathbone Walker Edmiston
Edwin Blackgaard Earl Boen
John Whittaker Paul Herlinger
Malcolm Lear James Bray
Nick Mulligan Chris Castile
Xavier Washington Niles Calloway

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Lannie Rathbone Bart Rathbone
Walter Shakespeare Edwin Blackgaard
Wooton Bassett Bart Rathbone

Notes

Trivia
  • This show was Nathan Hoobler's directorial debut.
  • This may have been the first Odyssey show to be inspired by an audition. James Bray, who plays Malcolm Lear, had such an interesting voice and character that the AIO team wrote an entire show around him.
  • In this episode, Bart says he changed his store to the Metric system to honor the British. While the British do use the metric system, they more commonly use the Imperial system like America. It could be said, however, that Bart doesn't know any better.
  • The title of this episode is a reference to the Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Two young men previously comically performed scenes from Romeo and Juliet at a festival in #95: “The Very Best of Friends”.
  • Nick's referring to Xavier's character in the Western version of their scene as "pilgrim" is a reference to John Wayne's famous use of the term in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and McClintock.
  • The lines Malcolm performs while Bart is on the phone come from Act 3 Scene 2 of King Lear, though several words and one entire line have been omitted. King Lear is also the name of the play Malcolm's last name is derived from.
  • Star Wars reference: Nick and Xavier have a light-saber duel and Xavier talks like Darth Vader. The music sounds almost exactly like John Williams' Star Wars score.
  • Edwin quotes Act 2 Scene 3 of Othello] when he laments the loss of his reputation.
  • This episode's entire cast and characters (including mentioned characters) are male - something that previously occurred in the also Edwin-centric episode #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”.

Reviews

Quotes

Bart Rathbone: What about Shakespeare? Can't he do that?
Edwin Blackgaard: He could if he were here. There was only enough money for one first class ticket. So he volunteered to hitchhike back.

Xavier Washington: Hey Nick! I was wondering, what would that look like as a science fiction movie?
Nick Mulligan: I don't know...why don't you come up and we'll show everybody!