Review: Friday Night Laughs with the Ladies of Chickspeare

Chickspeare
One of the best ways to end the stress of a busy work week is with a few laughs. Best place to find those laughs right now is at ComedySportz LA, where the classically-trained, comically-proficient ladies of Chickspeare take over the courtyard on Friday nights and improvise a one-act Shakespearean comedy guaranteed to start your weekend right.

Seriously witty. Playfully fun. It’s one of the best kept secrets in LA and a thoroughly enjoyable evening of comedy that the whole family will love. Plus the chicks calling the shots during this lively hour of Elizabethan improv are a lively and attractive group who dive into an idea heart first with all the commitment of a delightful bunch of pre-schoolers playing dress up.

The show is performed in the round, outdoors under the stars, with the audience seated at comfy café tables cozy enough to make it feel like you’re in a friend’s backyard. Bring a casual dinner and a bottle of wine or pick up some snacks in the garage on-site as you relax before the show. Period music sets the mood and the crowd is friendly. It really is a great way to unwind.  More

Photo Flash: The Old Globe’s Summer Shakespeare Intensive

Old Globe Summer Intensive 2014

Photos by Douglas Gates

The Old Globe’s seventh annual Summer Shakespeare Intensive presented its culminating performance on Monday, August 18 at 8:00 pm with performances of 50-minute versions of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors in the outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre. The four-week program is a unique opportunity for local high school actors and actresses to refine their skills as performers in a professional setting. Throughout the Intensive, the students study classical theatre technique, voice, movement and stage combat while observing the productions of the Globe’s Shakespeare Festival, which runs concurrently with the program. Festival company members are able to lend the students insights into the art of performing Shakespeare that they then apply to their own performances of the Bard’s work.

Congratulations to all of the young artists who were part of the Summer Intensive. We’ll be looking for you on stage in the near future!

Old Globe Summer Intensive

Old Globe Summer Intensive 2014

Trailer: Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Premieres at TIFF on 9/8


Following its 2013 New York stage run, Julie Taymor (The Lion King, Titus, The Tempest) brings her production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the screen starring David Harewood (Homeland) as Oberon, Max Casella (The Sopranos) as Bottom, Tina Benko as Titania, and Kathryn Hunter as Puck. The film premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2014 and features original music by Taymor’s longtime collaborator, Academy Award and Golden Globe winner and Pulitzer Prize nominee Elliot Goldenthal and cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto (Argo, Frida, Brokeback Mountain).

Photo Flash: New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s 2014 Summer Season

New Swan - Romeo and Juliet

Adam Schroeder and Leslie Lank as Romeo and Juliet

New Swan Shakespeare Festival continues its third annual summer of Shakespeare in its unique and intimate mini-Elizabethan theater with performances of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet alternating through August 29.

Artistic Director Eli Simon, “New Swan Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to the investigation and production of Shakespeare’s plays and other relevant works. Our 125-seat mini-Elizabethan open-air theater allows us to forge a visceral relationship between actors and audience. We want our audiences to experience the actions, emotions, and story-lines as deeply as our artistic teams. The intimacy of the New Swan Theater makes this possible. In this context, our productions focus on linguistic acuity and the deft illumination of the text.”

There is also one more performance of HYPERBOLE: bard presented by Rogue Artist Ensemble on Sunday, August 24 at 5:00 pm. This family-friendly show takes Shakespeare’s best characters, poetry and plot devices and remixes them with intricate mask work, original puppets and live music, Rogue-style. Tickets for all New Swan Shakespeare Festival performances are available at www.newswanshakespeare.com.

New Swan - Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet Ensemble

New Swan - Twelfth Night

Colin Nesmith as Malvolio in Twelfth Night

New Swan - Twelfth Night

Rosemary Brownlow as Viola and Samantha Aneson as Olivia in Twelfth Night

Click Here for more photos from New Swan Shakespeare Festival’s productions of Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet. Gorgeous.

The Antaeus Company’s 2015 Season to Open with Henry IV Part I

AntaeusThe Antaeus Company has announced three productions for 2015 beginning with Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part I. Directed by Michael Murray, Henry IV, Part I will run March 12 – May 3, with previews beginning March 5. Shakespeare’s growing-up tale of a young man caught between the joys of hanging around London pubs with the drunken and immoral Falstaff, and taking his rightful place beside his father as a prince fighting to maintain the crown amidst civil war, is part comedy and part tragedy. From drunken revelry to the bloody battlefield, this engaging tale of fathers and sons remains one of Shakespeare’s most exciting histories.

“Opening the new season in March, Henry IV, Part I sets up a coming of age theme that is pervasive in all three plays,” suggest Antaeus co-artistic directors Bill Brochtrup, Rob Nagle and John Sloan. “As Antaeus itself continues to grow and change, these questions resonate with us, and we think they will resonate with our audience, too.”  More

Why South Coast Rep’s Version of THE TEMPEST is Special (Hint: It’s the magic)


THE TEMPEST
South Coast Rep, Segerstrom Stage
August 29, 2014 – September 28, 2014 (opening night Sept 5)
Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller with songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Choreography by Matt Kent and Pilobolus
Post-Show Discussions: Wednesday, Sept. 10, and Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
ASL-interpreted performance: Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
Tickets and information: www.scr.org

Review: Chemistry Drives Theatricum Botanicum’s Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing - Theatricum

Robertson Dean and Susan Angelo

What a wonder is love in the hands of a writer like Shakespeare. Through comedy, tragedy, sonnet and poem, the way he captures lovers and their essence is pure magic. In Much Ado About Nothing, bringing that magic to life depends largely on its leading man and lady, and when a company gets the pairing right, the experience is so thoroughly engaging you never want it to end.

That’s the case with Theatricum Botanicum’s current production, directed by Ellen Geer and Christopher W. Jones, who could not have cast two actors with more chemistry, or a better understanding of Beatrice and Benedick, than Susan Angelo and Robertson Dean.  More

First Look: The Old Globe’s THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

The Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by Mark Lamos opens Saturday, August 16 and runs through September 14, 2014 at The Old Globe in Balboa Park, San Diego. For tickets call (619) 23-GLOBE or visit www.TheOldGlobe.org. Break a leg!

Old Globe - Two Gents

The cast of The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Photos by Jim Cox.

Old Globe - Two Gents

L-R: Rusty Ross (Speed), Richard Ruiz (Launce) and Khloe Jezbera as Crab the dog

More

A Noise Within Opens a REVOLUTIONary Season with THE TEMPEST

ANW TempestA Noise Within will open its 2014-2015 REVOLUTIONary season with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by Timothy Douglas in his ANW debut. The show opens on Saturday, September 13 and runs through Saturday, November 22, 2014. This will be the third production of The Tempest for A Noise Within, which also mounted the play in 1993 and 2006; going against the grain in true revolutionary form, Prospero will be cast with a woman in the role, ANW favorite Deborah Strang.

Shakespeare’s final major work, The Tempest occupies an in-between world that straddles the fine line between the ethereal (magic, fairies, and hybrid humans) and the real (love, freedom, and the power of nature). It tells the tragicomic tale of Prospero, The Duke of Milan, and his daughter, Miranda, who are marooned on an island due to the machinations of Prospero’s brother, Antonio. When Antonio’s ship is run aground by a massive storm, he and his comrades must navigate an isle rife with spirits and temptation. It is a morality tale about the rulers and the ruled, and how those roles can shift over time.  More

File This One Under Adorable – O BABY MINE: SING A SONG OF SHAKESPEARE

O Baby Mine134 West has produced a terrific album of music for parents and children of all ages, O Baby Mine: Sing A Song of Shakespeare. Comprised of songs from and inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, the CD and digital downloads release on Tuesday, August 12.

O Baby Mine: Sing A Song of Shakespeare is for anyone who wants to share their love of theatre, music, and the Bard and his language with their families. Featuring eight songwriters and 14 tracks, Shakespeare plays represented include Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors, As You Like It, Macbeth, and King Lear.

The composers are Raymond Bokhour, Sean Galuszka, Rob Kendt, Susan Lambert, Cinco Paul, Madison Scheckel, William Shakespeare, and David Tobocman. The project was conceived by Susan Lambert, who also acts as executive producer. The CD is produced, mixed, and engineered by Rob Kendt, with additional mixing by Matt North, mastering by Reuben Cohen at Lurssen Mastering, and art direction and design by Chad Calvert/Muse of Fire Creative.

Said producers Lambert and Kendt, “This album began as a way to introduce the wonder of Shakespeare to our kids, but it quickly took on a life of its own. Music flows throughout Shakespeare’s work: the rhythm and melody of his language can really make you want to sing and dance … and listen.”

Track List:

Up and Down
Shakespeare Said It First
There Are Bees
O Baby Mine (Daddy version)
Witches’ Song
Who Is Sylvia?
Nightingale’s Lullaby
Sigh No More
Do You Think You Have A Twin?
Oh Father
In Springtime
O Baby Mine (Mommy version)
Out, Out, Brief Candle
We Two Alone

You can preview the tracks, order the CD and find download options at www.obabyminemusic.com. For more information, visit www.134west.biz.

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