Category Archives: Theater around the world

Local movie theaters to screen Shakespeare

Well, I missed the first installment (vacation beckoned), but several Orlando-area movie theaters will screen filmed versions of productions from London’s Globe Theatre this summer.

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National Theatre’s ‘Cherry Orchard’ to play in cinemas

Here’s another highly praised stage production coming to movie theaters — and another one coming to movie theaters that are not near here.

(Which leads me to the rant: What is wrong with the movie theaters in the Orlando area? Why can’t they devote one screen one night every few months to something I want to see?)

Anyway, here’s the news about The National Theatre’s Cherry Orchard:

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U.S. playwright Katori Hall wins Susan Smith Blackburn award

American playwright Katori Hall has won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a $20,000 award given every year to a woman playwright writing in English. Hall received the prize for her play Hurt Village.

Here’s more:

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Susan Smith Blackburn finalists named

Here’s announcement of the finalists for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which goes every year to a woman playwright writing in English.

There have been many noted winners in the past (Sarah Ruhl, Dael Orlandersmith, Paula Vogel, Caryl Churchill and others), and this list of finalists is probably a pretty good guidebook to the promising women playwrights of today:

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Theater auditions: Eyewitness’s all-male ‘Lysistrata’ for Fringe

Here’s an audition notice from Eyewitness Theatre Company of Manchester, England, for its show for the Orlando Fringe:

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A rousing return to ‘Les Mis’

(Caution: A spoiler or two below:)

It’s not often that the people around you in a movie theater applaud at the end of the show.

It’s even less often that the people around you in a movie theater find themselves applauding at the end of a musical number. And you’re among them. Again and again and again. I mean, the actors and musicians on the screen are not there to hear you. But somehow it feels right all the same.

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‘Les Mis’ concert film to be screened Wednesday night

I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to seeing yet another version of Les Misérables — this time a film of the London cast’s 25th-anniversary concert, featuring Eatonville’s own Norm Lewis (left) as Javert and Lea Salonga (the original Kim in Miss Saigon) as Fantine.

The three-hour film will be shown nationwide Wednesday night — in
Central Florida, at the AMC Altamonte Mall 18, Cinemark Orlando Festival Bay, Waterford Stadium 20, Pointe Orlando, AMC Pleasure Island 24, Cobb Grand 10 Cinemas in Winter Haven, Merritt Square 16 in Merritt Island, Hollywood in Port Orange, Oceanwalk Movies 10 in Daytona Beach and Lakeside Cinemas 10 in Lakeland.

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On Shakespeare: Did he or didn’t he?

In the Village Voice, Michael Feingold writes a compelling review of what sounds like a compelling book — James Shapiro’s take on the Shakespeare authorship question, and whether the man from Stratford actually did write all those plays. Now I have to read the book.

Here they are: The Best of the Fest

Around Wednesday of Fringe week is a good time to go for superlatives, so here I am with mine. Here’s my first annual Best of the Fest list — the best shows I’ve seen so far (with an addition from my co-critic Dean Johnson). These are don’t-miss shows, and I suspect there may be more to come during the Fringe’s final days. Keep a lookout.

Elizabeth Maupin’s Best of the Fest: Continue reading

From the Fringe: ‘Gimpel the Fool’

Fringe review: ‘Gimpel the Fool,’ Nephesh Theatre, Tel Aviv, Israel

By Elizabeth Maupin

The Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer gave us some great literature. He also gave musical-theater fans the story that led to the Barbra Streisand movie Yentl. And he gave us “Gimpel the Fool,” a short story steeped in Jewish beliefs about the schlemiel, the wise fool who is blessed by God.

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From the Fringe: ‘Shoshinz Presents A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup’

Fringe review: ‘Shoshinz Presents A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup,’ Shoshinz, Tokyo, Japan

By Elizabeth Maupin

If you can imagine an Asian Carmen Miranda, the image you come up with will be a dead ringer for the center character in A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup – a Carmen Miranda with flower-bedecked dress, elegant red satin gloves and a bonnet bouquet, but a Carmen Miranda in whiteface who never says a word. Shoshinz is said to be Japanese for “shy, timid people,” but this solo performer, who calls herself Yanomi Shoshinz, isn’t so much shy as silent, except for a tiny case of the hiccups.

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From the Fringe: ‘Canuck Cabaret’

Fringe review: Canuck Cabaret, Bundle of Joy, Regina, Saskatchewan

By Elizabeth Maupin

If your idea of Canada is a bland, agreeable country to our north, the country with the world’s longest coastline and the birthplace of William Shatner and Joni Mitchell, your horizons may be expanded a bit with Canuck Cabaret, Paul Hutcheson and Sharon Nowlan’s 55 minutes of retro vaudeville.

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From the Fringe: ‘Trojan Women’

Fringe review: Trojan Women, Eyewitness Theatre Company, Manchester, England.

By Elizabeth Maupin

Not everybody thinks the Fringe means time for frivolity. Peter McGarry’s Eyewitness Theatre has brought the Fringe plenty of meaty theater in years past (Lysistrata, Medea), and some of those and more modern offerings (Home to Roost, Time to Go Walking, Our Daily Bread) have made the case to laugh-happy Fringe audiences that drama and comedy can mix.

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Happy birthday, Will

In honor of William Shakespeare’s 446th birthday, here’s a little something from Rowan Atkinson and Hugh Laurie:

Groff to ‘Deathtrap,’ Radcliffe to ‘Succeed’

A couple of chunks of news about famous boyish actors:

Daniel Radcliffe (right) is reportedly going to play the lead, J. Pierrepont Finch, in a Broadway revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. It’ll be his Broadway musical debut.

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Theater folks: How do you measure success?

Thanks to both Autumn Ames and ArtsJournal for pointing out this provocative blog post:

Alistair Smith, a writer for the Guardian, reports on a new system in some British theaters that measures the success of a production based on audiences’ emotional responses. If people leave weeping, and say so on a questionnaire, that apparently makes for a successful show. If people leave confused, and say so on a questionnaire — only to mull the show over and over in their minds for days — that’s apparently a problem.

Read Smith’s discussion, and then tell me yourselves: How do you measure theatrical success? Box office? Critics? Word of mouth? Just a gut feeling in your stomach? We’d all like to know.

ALW’s ‘Phantom’ sequel postponed for Bway

Now, this is crushing.

More shows announced for Cab Fest

Hiding away on Mad Cow’s website is the announcement of two more shows for the Orlando Cabaret Festival — Andrea Canny singing Frank Wildhorn and Kevin Kelly singing the music of Maltby & Shire.

I’m a huge Maltby & Shire fan, not so much for Wildhorn. But both Canny and Kelly are wonderful singers, and I’ll be happy to hear them do whatever they please. Plus, we get to hear accompanists Terry Thomas and John DeHaas.What could be bad?

Here are the dates, times and descriptions:

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Get your Fringe sked here

The schedule is out for Orlando’s 2010 Fringe, which may still be eight weeks or so away but will be here before you know it.

You can look at the schedule online (small type, difficult to browse, still in that strange non-alphabetical order that puts all the shows beginning with “the” together under the letter T).

Or you can look at all the shows and descriptions right here. What follows is an alphabetical list of shows, times and descriptions. I’ll give you the rolling log of Fringe shows from beginning to end when the festival gets closer.

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‘Phantom’ sequel gets the reviews you’d expect

I’m sorry, but I am not among the people who have been clamoring for a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, a musical in which the curtains always seemed more interesting to me than almost anything else.

So I’m clearly not the target audience for Love Never Dies, the Phantom sequel which is set in Coney Island (yes, really) and opened in London last night.

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