April 2, 2013 |
IT'S TAKEN a little more than 500 years to get to the root of William Shakespeare 's personality, but it turns out he was a bastard. According to a group of academics, the Bard was more Shylock than Puck, a ruthless businessman - hoarder, moneylender, tax dodger - who grew wealthy dealing in grain during a time of famine. You thought he just wrote plays, but researchers from Aberystwyth University, in Wales, argue that we can't fully understand Shakespeare unless we study his often-overlooked business savvy.
June 4, 1989 |
Janet Cahill was standing outside the Abington school administration building in March, awaiting a meeting to help decide the fate of Memorial Field, when a taxi cab pulled up. Out stepped an executive from Cannon-Faulkner Associates of Washington. "He asked me if this was Abington Township," Cahill recalled. "He said he was looking for the administration building. " So Cahill was puzzled when the school board last month hired the firm as consultant to a special athletic field committee: How could the company decide the best place for a new field if its officials had trouble finding the administration building?
July 23, 2002 |
In the next couple of weeks, Shakespeare lovers will have an opportunity that comes along about as often as Tiger Woods shoots a round of 81: the chance to enjoy concurrent productions of the first and last plays in the canon. At the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University in Center Valley, Lehigh County, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is offering a straightforward, if not especially adventurous, Two Gentlemen of Verona, the Bard's debut comedy. In the Arcadia Shakespeare Festival's unevenly cast The Tempest, David Howey's measured and probing portrait of Prospero is the main attraction in Shakespeare's magnificent and autumnal valedictory to the theater.
December 17, 2010 |
It figures that Julie Taymor, theater magician of The Lion King , film conjurer of Across the Universe , Shakespeare interpreter who made her movie debut with Titus , would be drawn to The Tempest , the one about the sorcerer who unsettles the seas before settling scores. Boldly Taymor changes Prospero's gender, casting the magnificent Helen Mirren as Prospera, cast away with her daughter, Miranda, on a remote island where the sorceress rescues the sprite Ariel and enslaves the creature Caliban.
January 28, 1993 |
If too many cooks will spoil the broth, can one too many directors spoil the Bard? The pre-opening hype for the Arden Theater Co.'s production of "The Tempest" suggested that the pairing of Arden artistic director Aaron Posner with Mark Lord, who heads the theater program at Bryn Mawr College, as co- directors of Shakespeare's romantic fantasy, bade fair to bring forth a stunning staging of this fanciful tale of ambition, revenge and forgiveness....
October 12, 1994 |
Eric Hill perceives Shakespeare's The Tempest as taking place in the mind of Prospero. The primary character imagines everything about the play - even, in a way, himself. Hill's Temple University Theaters' production opens with Miranda, Prospero's daughter, lying on the stage reading a magazine and listening to rock music, a Princess phone at her side. Prospero, who is on stage virtually throughout the play, spends a great deal of time in his overstuffed chair, which if it is not contemporary, is at least 20th century.
November 10, 2012 |
Opinions can be confoundingly divided between those who hear Metropolitan Opera performances at Lincoln Center and audiences at the high-def movie-theater simulcasts. Obviously, cameras rightly favor the singers over the sometimes questionable productions around them. But in the case of The Tempest , which will be beamed to six area movie theaters Saturday, the division may well be a question of urban tastes vs. others'. Or how many fools you're willing to suffer. The opera in question, which premiered in London in 2004, was created by Thomas Adès, who has been compared in stature to the great Benjamin Britten, often deservedly so. That's a lot of artistic equity, particularly in New York, where foreign composers can still be favored over domestic ones.
December 17, 2010 |
"The Tempest" is another of Julie Taymor's bold reimaginings of Shakespeare, this time with a huge gender switch at the center. She takes Prospero, the marooned alchemist who lures rivals to his island exile, and turns him into Prospera, in the person of Helen Mirren. Does this complicate our interpretation of the text? I'm afraid so. As when, early on, angry Prospera inflicts punishment on her disobedient slave, Caliban. "For this, to be sure, tonight thou shalt have cramps!"
June 25, 2012 |
Strong acting and bold direction too often overshadow the work that a design team contributes to a play's success. In the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival's staging of The Tempest, the designers provide all the elements that make this production memorable. Not that the actors and director Jim Helsinger don't uphold the Festival's high standards. Greg Wood delivers a compelling, sympathetic performance as Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan exiled for 15 years on a remote island with his daughter Miranda (the earnest and endearing Kelsey Formost)
December 13, 1999 |
You just about have to go back to the days when Roger Neilson was coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs to recall when the Leafs and Flyers were bitter rivals. Those days seem to be returning. The Flyers' 6-4 loss Saturday night at Toronto's Air Canada Centre began almost tenderly. The Leafs' fans gave Neilson a standing ovation, cued by the scoreboard, 3:21 into the first period, and Toronto forward Kris King came over to shake Neilson's hand. Neilson, the Flyers' coach, who announced Friday that he has bone-marrow cancer, later called the ovation "one of the nicest things that's happened to me in hockey.