‘OTHELLO’ (REVIEW PICK, AUS) and more...


‘OTHELLO’ (REVIEW PICK, AUS)

(Jane Howard’s article appeared in the Guardian, 11/18.)

Towards the end of the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s Othello, Desdemona (Ashton Malcolm) and Emilia (Elena Carapetis) sit together under moonlight, drinking and talking. At a camp on the edge of a battlefield, Desdemona cries, questioning what led her husband to attack her, and together they sing a song sung by a woman as she died. The moment is quiet, softly devastating. It’s rare for being focused on women. The audience can breathe.

Director Nescha Jelk’s telling of the story of the black general, Othello (Hazem Shammas) who has married a woman half his age and finds himself a pawn in the manipulative game of Iago (Renato Musolino) is brutal. She rips away from what is usually a story about racism or jealousy, instead using Shakespeare’s script to critically explore a contemporary and infectious masculinity, and the violence this thrusts among men – and against women.

(Read more)

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/nov/19/othello-review-a-powerful-and-sickening-parable-of-modern-man

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

TALKING SHIPS WITH STING

 

(Emily Brennan’s article appeared in The New York Times, 11/14; via Pam Green.)

Sting was breaking a promise he had made to himself.

Back in the ’70s, when he was earning his wages performing nightly for passengers aboard the S.S. Oriana, he swore he would never set foot on another ship. That is, he said, “until I owned the thing.”

Yet there he was on the Queen Mary 2, docked that bright October afternoon in New York Harbor. It seemed the boy in him, who grew up in the industrial northeast England town Wallsend — “in the shadow of a shipyard,” as he put it — couldn’t pass up the chance to perform on the world’s largest ocean liner.

“It’s not every day you’re invited aboard the Queen Mary 2,” he said. That such an invitation could still flatter a man who, at this point, might very well be able to purchase the vessel is a testament to just how large ships loomed in his childhood. Shipbuilding, in all its grit and glory, is the stuff of the new Broadway musical, “The Last Ship,” for which Sting wrote the music and lyrics.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/travel/talking-ships-with-sting.html

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

MIKE NICHOLS, DIRECTOR OF 'THE GRADUATE,' DIES AT 83

 

(Georg Szalai’s article appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, 11/20.)

The Oscar and Tony winner and husband of Diane Sawyer also made 'Closer,' 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' and many others

Director Mike Nichols, who made such films as The Graduate, which earned him a best director Oscar, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, has died. He was 83.

He was was married to ABC News veteran Diane Sawyer and was hugely successful on Broadway as well. Notably, he was one of only a dozen people to have won at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

See more Mike Nichols' Life and Career in Pictures

James Goldston, president of ABC News, shared the news of his death with his staff in a note on Thursday morning. The U.S. director, who was born in Germany under the name Michael

(Read more)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/mike-nichols-dead-at-83-750671

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

 

     

FRANK GAGLIANO ON: JUDY HOLLIDAY AND PITTSBURGH'S CITY THEATRE'S PRODUCTION OF WILLY HOLTZMAN'S 'SMART BLONDE'

JudyHoliday

(Gagliano’s article appeared 11/14.)

On 21 November, Pittsburgh’s City Theatre will premiere Willy Holtzman’s, “Smart Blonde” — and I’m delighted. 

Back in the golden age of play development in Pittsburgh, when I was Artistic Director of Carnegie Mellon’s Showcase of New Plays (1987-1998), two of Willy Holtzman’s plays, “The Closer” and “Sabina,” were developed, both going on to major theaters around the country — including Primary Stages in New York. Later, in 1999, I opened the Festival of New Works at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with Willy’s play, “Hearts” (Willy got the first Arthur Miller Award for that one, with Arthur Miller attending).

Judy Holliday

I saw a workshop of “Smart Blonde” last year at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre and was excited, enchanted and moved by the piece and saw its potential for a first-rate production. 

For starters: Judy Holliday as subject? Irresistible. 

Judy Holliday was one of the most attractive, delightful, funny, vulnerable, singing actresses of the golden age of American theatre and film (Born Yesterday and The Bells Are Ringing). 

She was also vulnerable to, and implicated in, the McCarthy era madness, which, Willy feels, not only shortened her career, but may have shortened her life. 

Willy&_Andréa_Burns

In “Smart Blonde,”  you get all of this —AND— Judy (Broadway’s Andrèa Burns in this City Theatre production) singing standards from the Great American Songbook, including: I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Let's Fall in Love, What'll I Do? Lulu's Back on Town (Mel Tormè’s version attached).

Download Lulu's_Back_In_Town

 

So: Judy Holliday, American Songbook standards, the superb playwriting artistry of Willy Holtzman and, as Willy just emailed me, “Great cast. Great set.”  

I was at the City Theatre opening of Willy’s The Morini Strad, some seasons back — and I’ll be at the opening of "Smart Blonde," at The City Theatre on 21 November. See you there?

And for you out-of-towners —take note: "Smart Blonde" is bound to "have legs" and will be coming your way! 

Again — Irresistible.

Frank Gagliano 

[http://www.gaglianoriff.com/page/showcase]

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com .

     

LAURA DONNELLY'S RIVER DANCE

(Emma Brown’s article appeared in Interview, 11/14; via Pam Green.)

Inserted into the program of The River, Jez Butterworth's new Broadway play, is a poem by W.B. Yeats, "The Song of the Wandering Aengus." In it, the narrator waxes about a transcendent experience while trout fishing—a freshly caught fish is transformed into a flighty woman, a "glimmering girl." In the play's opening scene, trout fishing is mythologized once again in lyrical form, this time when Hugh Jackman's unnamed protagonist, The Man, reads a poem by Ted Hughes to his new girlfriend, The Woman. Alone in his uncle's old cabin, The Man attempts get The Woman to join him fishing, but she is reluctant. Finally she agrees, and they disappear. When the couple returns, however, The Woman, played by Cush Jumbo, has been replaced. Instead, there is The Other Woman (Laura Donnelly), more passionate and more flirtatious in manner.

The Man seems equally infatuated with both women—he professes his love for each one of them as passionately as he speaks about trout fishing—and yet, it seems clear that neither will last past the weekend. They are too clever, and The Man, sending each one to fetch a memento from a box containing another woman's picture, seems bent of self-sabotage, conscious of his own underlying insincerity.

(Read more)

http://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/laura-donnelly#_

Visit Stage Voices Publishing for archived posts and sign up for free e-mail updates: http://www.stagevoices.com/ .  If you would like to contribute a review, monologue, or other work related to theatre, please write to Bob Shuman at Bobjshuman@gmail.com

     

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