August 1, 2015 |
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The big Shakespeare pilgrimage of the summer would seem to be to the Druid Theatre Company's marathon performances of Shakespeare's "second tetralogy," a saga of English monarchs and wars from Richard II to Henry V imported from Ireland to the Lincoln Center Festival. Yet there's an equal impetus to travel the opposite direction, from Philadelphia to DeSales University in Center Valley, where the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival offers Henry V through Sunday: How often is the same play such a thoroughly different experience?
July 23, 2015 |
WILMINGTON - Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew has engendered much controversy for its alleged abusiveness, misogyny, and insistence on patriarchally enforced gender roles in marriage. But there's no disputing the success and merriment of the Delaware Shakespeare Festival's current presentation, which sidesteps land mines by treating this production with the same mirth and gaiety the fest has shown in comedies over the last 13 seasons. Director Samantha Bellomo achieves much of this triumph simply by casting Charlie DelMarcelle as the rogue Petruchio, who seeks his fortune in marriage to the cursed, churlish Katharina (Felicia Leicht)
July 17, 2015
J OSEPH DOUGHERTY, the 73-year-old former labor leader awaiting sentencing next week on a federal racketeering conviction, just found out the hard way that not even Shakespeare can soften the blow of a judge's gavel. U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson yesterday rejected Dougherty's Hail Mary motion for an acquittal or a new trial. Baylson began the ruling thusly: "Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh, And sees fast by a butcher with an axe, But will suspect 'twas he that made the slaughter?"
July 17, 2015 |
Whether shaking up Shakespeare or nodding to Elizabethan conventions, this summer four of the region's theater companies and festivals illustrate that there's more to the Bard than anything you learned in high school. Shakespeare in Clark Park will enliven its free production of the romantic fable The Winter's Tale (July 29 to Aug. 2) with a children's chorus, original songs, and a seven-foot ursine puppet designed by Aaron Cromie, for the play's famous stage direction ("Exit, pursued by a bear")
April 30, 2015
ISSUE | ENGLISH STUDIES Be the Bard I couldn't disagree more with my good friend professor Nora Johnson at Swarthmore about not requiring college English majors to take a course devoted to Shakespeare and his works ("A lack of Will: Bard rarely required on campus," April 24). As chair of La Salle University's English department, and as someone trained as a medievalist but who writes on television and film, I am hardly a hidebound defender of the canon. Begrudgingly, at La Salle, we do not require courses in Chaucer, Milton, and others, but we do in Shakespeare - because there is no match in terms of historical and global importance and influence.
April 25, 2015 |
'Tis high time the nation's top colleges require their English majors to take a course on William Shakespeare. So says the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit founded in 1995 by Lynne Cheney, wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney. Of 52 colleges and universities reviewed, only four - Harvard; the University of California, Berkeley; the U.S. Naval Academy; and Wellesley - require a Shakespeare course, according to the study, released Thursday on the playwright's 451st birthday.
March 27, 2015 |
The concept, one imagines, inspired not a few raised eyebrows: Shakespeare plus tango. Intriguing, no? Or merely perplexing? So was born the Lantern Theater Company's current production of The Taming of the Shrew , which runs through May 3. The romantic comedy, written between 1590 and 1592, is a sometimes heartwarming, sometimes caustic take on the battle of the sexes, set in the Italian city state of Padua, and here updated to the 1930s....
February 22, 2015 |
In 1882, a young Oscar Wilde took a one-day break from his lecture tour of North America to visit the Camden home of Walt Whitman. Thematically, Michael Whistler's Mickle Street, now at the Walnut Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, depicts this event as a gay apologia and examination of the difficulties one faced living as a homosexual in 1880s England and America (which Wilde would find out for himself a few decades later). Dramatically and in content, Mickle Street is so contrived that Whistler might just as well have invented their historic meeting.
February 16, 2015 |
IN 2011, JOE CALTAGIRONE, a bartender/actor from Port Richmond, was watching TV coverage of angry "Arab Spring" crowds toppling leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, when he suddenly flashed back 30 years. Caltagirone remembered being in a thrift store on Kensington Avenue in the 1980s, browsing through the "All Books 10 Cents" shelves, when he came upon an old Kensington High School for Girls library copy of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar. " Caltagirone, 61, remembers thinking, "When a book's down to 10 cents, it's two feet from the trash can. Caesar and Shakespeare for a dime!
December 18, 2014
NOW THAT "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" movies are finally wrapped, the filmmakers involved seem more exhausted than elated. At least their post-"Hobbit" interviews make it seem that way. So I asked the opinion of Martin Freeman, who plays the title character in director Peter Jackson's "Hobbit" trilogy. (Jackson also did the "Rings" trilogy.) "I'm probably not as exhausted as Peter is, who has spent every day and every night on it for many, many years," the actor said.