November 27, 1991 |
The Tempest is Shakespeare's final play and the voice of Prospero has traditionally been taken as his farewell to the theater. Peter Greenaway's voluptuous and boundlessly imaginative Prospero's Books finds many new layers of meaning in these last words. If the film were simply the curtain call for John Gielgud, the last of Britain's peerless generation of theatrical knights in a role he has commanded almost symbiotically over the years, Prospero's Books would be a testament of enduring value.
March 5, 1993 |
In What Fools These Mortals Be, Demetrius mentions Shakespeare, and Lysander replies increduously, "Do you still believe in Shakespeare?" The remark sparks an acrimonious, physical argument about who wrote Shakespeare's plays. From the title and the names of the characters, it is obvious that the performance piece playing through Sunday at Movement Theater International has something to do with Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is obvious, as well, that there is much here that Shakespeare never dreamed his work would inspire.
October 4, 1991 |
Stagecraft is the star of La Tempestad, the adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest that runs at the Zellerbach Theater through tomorrow. But even a star requires a bit more support than this interesting but somewhat schizophrenic production provides. The creation of Venezuela's Compania Rajatabla, La Tempestad is performed in Spanish with simultaneous translation, available through headphones. This reviewer used the translation. It would have been better if he spoke Spanish, but then it also would have been better if the production spoke Shakespeare.
June 2, 1987 |
Early in The Comedy of Errors, one of the boys from Syracuse, newly arrived in Ephesus, observes that "this town is full of cozenage" and speaks of "nimble jugglers that deceive the eye. " Nobody says "cozenage" any more; it means trickery. But juggling is all the rage. The New Vaudeville couldn't get along without it. "Hah!" as the Flying Karamazov Brothers might exclaim. "This is a play about juggling!" Juggling as a metaphor for farce? Or for show business? Or perhaps - who knows?
August 5, 1993 |
Quick. Grab a lawn chair or blankets. It's the last three nights of Shakespeare in the Park at Cabrini College in Radnor. And it's free. At 8 p.m. today, tomorrow and Saturday, Henry IV, Part One will be performed under the stars. Rich-looking costumes, Hollywood-esque sword fight scenes and, of course, Shakespeare's rich language make this performance worth catching. Cabrini College campus is at 610 King of Prussia Rd. For information, call 971-8510. The Caribbean Connection will perform tomorrow night at the Suburban Square Summer Jazz Festival.
January 13, 1994 |
Humor and scholarship combine when Elliot Engel tells "How William Became Shakespeare" on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. in a public lecture at the Charles F. Patton Middle School in Unionville. A scholar and a performer, Engel will offer a light and enlightening look at the author whom most critics call the greatest writer in English. The program is sponsored by the Hadley Memorial Fund and is free and open to the public. In his lecture, Engel will explain why Shakespeare's language and characters have delighted audiences for more than 400 years.
April 9, 2004 |
Shakespeare purists, beware. If you value your peace of mind, avoid St. Stephen's Theater, where the Lantern Theater Company is presenting a production of The Comedy of Errors that is so unconventional that it actually adds language of the director's devising to the text. But for those just looking for a good time in the theater, St. Stephen's may be just the place you want to go. The standard approach to the Bard's most playful comedy is to treat first and last acts somewhat seriously, which emphasizes the farce that falls between.
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.
May 18, 2010 |
One recent evening, a dedicated group of local thespians was running through a scene in its labor of love, the works of Shakespeare. Moments before her death, a guilt-racked Lady Macbeth cried, "Fie, my lord, fie!" Just then music pierced the air. It wasn't an orchestra heightening the drama. It was director Danielle Bergmann's cell phone ringtone. "My b," the teenager apologized, hushing her phone. But the high school junior could be forgiven for forgetting to mute her phone.
June 21, 2013 |
IN "MUCH ADO about Nothing," Joss Whedon makes the case that Shakespeare is every bit as accessible as "The Avengers. " To that end, he's chosen Shakespeare's most plain-spoken play, the foundation of the modern romcom (the feuding, made-for-each-other couple) and also a kind of Elizabethan "Jersey Shore" - one house (Whedon's own), a bunch of drunk people, and a lot of tangled, volatile romance (Whedon uses a lot of handheld camerawork). Mainly, "Much Ado" is about the "merry war" between swashbuckling ladies' man Benedick (Alexis Denisof)