GAMBLING ON O’NEILL: FOREST WHITAKER MAKES HIS BROADWAY DEBUT IN ‘HUGHIE’ and more...


GAMBLING ON O’NEILL: FOREST WHITAKER MAKES HIS BROADWAY DEBUT IN ‘HUGHIE’

 
 

(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 2/3; via Pam Green.)

The moment Forest Whitaker steps onto 42nd Street, the shouting begins.

“Can I get a picture with you, please?” “One selfie? One selfie?” “You’re the best.”

It’s just three blocks from the rehearsal studio to the theater where he will be making his Broadway debut, but around him, the city is throbbing. There are blazing billboards, screaming sirens, crushing crowds.

Mr. Whitaker is trying to tune all that out. He’s been obsessing about Times Square, but the Times Square of 1928, swanky and soaring just before the big stock market crash.

It was at a hotel in this neighborhood — at 43rd and Broadway, on a site now marked with a plaque next to a Starbucks — that Eugene O’Neill was born in 1888. And it was at a hotel in this neighborhood that the playwright set the one-act play “Hughie,” in which Mr. Whitaker is preparing to star as a small-time gambler and big-time drinker called Erie Smith.

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/07/theater/gambling-on-oneill-forest-whitaker-makes-his-broadway-debut-in-hughie.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 .

     


OXFORDIANS REBUT SHAPIRO’S “YEAR OF LEAR”

(via Patricia N. Saffran and John Shahan)

Contested Year, a response by anti-Stratfordians to James Shapiro’s The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606, is now available for pre-order on Amazon and will be released as a Kindle e-book on February 9, 2016. Shapiro’s book claims that Shakespeare wrote, not only King Lear, but also Macbeth and Antony & Cleopatra in 1606. Although Shapiro does not explore the authorship question in his book, it is obvious that his argument is an attempt to undermine the Oxfordian theory by alleging that these three major plays could not have been written until after Oxford’s death in 1604.

The Kindle response, whose full title is Contested Year: Errors, Omissions and Unsupported Statements in James Shapiro’s “The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606,” is edited by Mark Anderson, Alexander Waugh, and Alex McNeil. Additional contributors include John Shahan, Katherine Chiljan, Richard Malim, Roger Stritmatter, John D. Lavendoski, Earl Showerman, Wally Hurst, Tom Regnier, Steve Steinburg, Jan Cole, Michael Delahoyde, C.V. Berney, Robert Detobel, Lynne Kositsky, and Christopher Carolan. The cover design is by Jennifer Newton.

(Read more)

http://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/oxfordians-rebut-shapiros-year-of-lear/

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 .

     


PETER BROOK: ‘BATTLEFIELD’ (SV PICK, UK)

 
 

(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 2/7.)

Three decades ago, Peter Brook’s production of the Mahabharata helped to redefine theatre.

It not only made the ancient Sanskrit text available to a global audience but also proved a piece of epic theatre could be created out of the elementary ingredients of earth, fire and water. Now Brook and his long-time collaborator, Marie-Hélène Estienne, have returned to the same source and fashioned a remarkable 65-minute piece that is clearly intended as a parable for our times.

Using four actors and a musician, Brook and Estienne evoke the apocalyptic aftermath of a great war between rival members of the same family. Yudhishthira, the king of the Pandavas, confronts the fact that, with millions lying dead on the battlefield, victory feels like a defeat.

(Read more)

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/feb/07/battlefield-review-peter-brooks-mahabharata-breathtaking

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 .

     


CATE BLANCHETT TO MAKE BROADWAY DEBUT IN PLAY DIRECTED BY JOHN CROWLEY

(Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/27; via Pam Green.)

Cate Blanchett, one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, will make her Broadway debut next season in a new adaptation of a lesser-known Chekhov play.

Ms. Blanchett will star as a Russian widow in “The Present,” which reimagines Chekhov’s untitled first play, often called “Platonov,” set in the 1990s. In the play a group of friends gathers at a country house outside Moscow to celebrate the 40th birthday of Ms. Blanchett’s character, Anna Petrovna. A Chekhovian tangle of vodka-fueled regret unspools, although in this version with considerably more humor than one might expect.

“It’s about life, basically, and the choices that a group of people make,” said the play’s director, John Crowley, who also directed the movie “Brooklyn,” which is a nominee for a best picture Oscar this year. Mr. Crowley, an Irish filmmaker and stage director, has directed three Broadway plays, “A Behanding in Spokane,” “A Steady Rain” and “The Pillowman.”

(Read more)

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/theater/blanchett-to-make-broadway-debut-in-play-directed-by-john-crowley.html?_r=0

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 .

     

MICHAEL FEINGOLD: CONCERNING BLACK THEATER MATTERS (PART 1)

(Feingold’s article appeared on Theatermania, 1/22.)

Once, many decades ago, there was an ethnic group that middle Americans conventionally looked down on. Its members were viewed as simple souls, close to the earth and not fully capable of grasping higher ideas. They spoke what was perceived as a comically distorted version of English, often exaggerated into caricature on the stage. Though assumed to be deeply religious and blessed with a natural musicality, they were also considered shiftless and untrustworthy, easy prey for their more violent impulses. Respectable folk felt the need to maintain a discreet distance from them.

Whatever you were thinking, the people I'm referring to are the Irish. The terms I've cited above were frequently applied to them, in middle-class parlance, during the waves of immigration that followed the great Irish famine of the early 1840s persisting down to the heyday of the great Irish-American vaudeville and theater stars who dominated our stage from the 1880s onward. These stereotypes were exploited by Irish and Irish-American performers, as well as by many who merely pretended to be Irish, producing a subspecies of minstrelsy in which people sang sentimentally about Cork instead of blacking up their faces with it.

(READ MORE)

http://www.theatermania.com/new-york-city-theater/news/concerning-black-theater-matters_75654.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 .

     

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