Orlando Bloom & Condola Rashad in Romeo and Juliet beginning Feb. 13

Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad turned up the heat in the fall of 2013 as Broadway’s rule-breaking, heart-aching couple, Romeo and Juliet. For the first time in over 36 years, it was live on Broadway in a stunningly modern production for a new generation of theater goers. If you missed seeing this steaming hot couple in their limited engagement, it’s not too late. You can still see it on the big screen, February 13 – 19.

Directed for the stage by five-time Tony® nominee David Leveaux and directed for the screen by four-time Emmy winner Don Roy King, the acclaimed cast of 25 actors includes Brent Carver, Chuck Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Christian Camargo, in addition to Rashad and Bloom. Click here for a list of cinemas near you.

See Tom Hiddleston in CORIOLANUS at The James Bridges Theater

Coriolanus HiddlestonNational Theatre Live will broadcast the Donmar Warehouse production of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, February 8 & 9 at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater.

When an old adversary threatens Rome, the city calls once more on her hero and defender: Coriolanus. But he has enemies at home too. Famine threatens the city, the citizens’ hunger swells to an appetite for change, and on returning from the field Coriolanus must confront the march of realpolitik and the voice of an angry people.

Coriolanus is directed by Donmar Warehouse artistic director Josie Rourke and stars Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse) in the title role and Mark Gatiss (BBC’s Sherlock) as Menenius. The stage production is filmed live and broadcast by National Theatre Live and presented by L.A. Theatre Works and The James Bridges Theater.

“A scorching Tom Hiddleston leads Josie Rourke’s tense, revelatory staging.” — Variety

Saturday, Feb. 8 at 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 4:00 pm
James Bridges Theater, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
235 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095
Tickets: Regular seating: $20. Premium seating: $25
Students: $10 (must present valid student ID)
(310) 827-0889 or www.latw.org

HAMLET Coming to Arena Cinema in Hollywood

Hamlet filmBreaking Glass Pictures offers a new look at Hamlet beginning January 17 at Arena Cinema in Hollywood. The 88-minute film is adapted and directed by Bruce Ramsay and has been nominated for four Leo Awards (British Columbia).

Treachery, sex, murder, betrayal and revenge – the hallmarks of Shakespeare’s classic drama are still there, as director Bruce Ramsay adapts the story for a 21st Century audience, relocating the action to post WWII London and making the female characters (Gertrude and Ophelia) considerably more assertive.

Filmed entirely in Vancouver, B.C. with sumptuous production values that belie the film’s tiny budget ($27,000), the screenplay is faithful to Shakespeare’s text in most regards. Says Ramsey, “My intent with Hamlet was to make it as fresh, and accessible as possible. By eliminating everything that happens outside of Elsinore and shedding any characters that are not a part of, or in direct service to, the royal family, Hamlet the play, becomes Hamlet the classic cinematic genre, the family drama. The loss of a parental figure, the power vacuum that it creates, the self- reflection demanded by the lead character’s contemplation of his own mortality, all these themes are central to the piece, and very familiar in modern cinematic storytelling.”

The film stars Ramsay as Hamlet, Stephen Lobo (Horatio), Lara Gilchrist (Ophelia), Peter Wingfield (Claudius), Gillian Barber (Gertrude), Duncan Fraser (Polonius), and Haig Sutherland (Laertes), with production design by Paul Joyval and music by Schaun Tozer.

January 17 – 23, 2014
Arena Cinema
1625 N. Las Palmas Ave., Hollywood, CA 90028
Discounted parking is available with validation in lots adjacent to the theatre and across the street. Showtimes: Fri. at 6:05 pm, Sat. at 4:30 and 6:05, Sun. at 3:30 & 5:00, Mon.-Thurs. at 6:10 pm. Admission: $12.
For tickets, visit http://arenascreen.com

Shakespeare for the Winter Solstice


A bit of history for your viewing pleasure.

In honor of the winter solstice, here is a 12 ½ minute 1910 silent film version of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale with scenario by Lloyd F. Lonergan and Gertrude Thanhouser, and featuring a cast that included Anna Rosemond (Queen of Sicilia), Martin Faust (King of Sicilia), Frank H. Crane (King of Bohemia), Amelia Barleon (Princess of Sicilia), Alfred Hanlon (Prince of Bohemia). Original music composed and performed by Raymond A. Brubacher.

STILL DREAMING Proves Shakespeare is Alive and Well No Matter What Your Age

Still Dreaming puck

Charlotte Fairchild as Puck

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is getting a make-over by a group of retired Broadway entertainers who emerge from retirement to reawaken their spirits and their dreams in the documentary film, Still Dreaming. As the actors stretch their physical, mental and emotional limits, they share the value of Shakespeare and Creativity no matter your age. The producers are launching a crowdfunding campaign today and I think you’ll love it.

For filmmakers Jilann Spitzmiller and Hank Rogerson, the idea to do Shakespeare with seniors came as a follow up to their film Shakespeare Behind Bars, a documentary about a group of Kentucky inmates doing The Tempest.

“We were inspired by the idea of doing Shakespeare in another unique setting,” says Rogerson. “On top of that, there are the issues that lay just under the surface, or really out in plain sight, of how we care for our elders, the value of creativity no matter one’s age, and intergenerational involvement between seniors and younger generations. We are creative people, Jilann and I, (everyone is!) and we wondered what it would be like to be creatively engaged at the age of 80.”

He adds, “It is a film anyone can relate to, as we all have aging grandparents, parents, or are growing older ourselves. The film shows the highs and lows of engagement by seniors and their caretakers (nursing home staff and families), and amidst the seniors mounting a production of MSND, we see people surprised, transformed and uplifted by their journeys. In that way it’s very similar to Shakespeare Behind Bars, and yet these characters are more accessible to an audience. They’re our father, mother, sibling, or even ourselves.”

Still Dreaming Mary & Ben smile

Mary DiPaulo plays Quince (with co-director Ben Steinfeld)

The film takes place in a nursing home for retired entertainers called The Actors Home, which is owned and operated by the Actors Fund. Rogerson hopes that the film will inspire many similar theater art programs around the world, in any senior home or center, or theater, or school, or even one’s own living room. “Hug your elder today and read some Shakespeare with them,” he exclaims.

I think that’s a very good idea. You can read more about the film on their website, www.theshakespearemovie.com, and find their Indiegogo video HERE.

National Theatre Live’s OTHELLO Begins Broadcasts Sept. 26

The National Theatre of Great Britain’s acclaimed production of Othello, directed by Nicholas Hytner with Adrian Lester (Henry V, BBC’s Hustle) in the title role and Rory Kinnear (Hamlet, James Bond: Skyfall) as the duplicitous Iago, will broadcast live to venues across the country on Thursday, September 26 with repeat screenings on varying dates nationally. Don’t miss your chance to experience this thrilling production in a cinema near you. Click this link for screening locations, times and additional dates.

National Theatre Live To Broadcast MACBETH Starring Kenneth Branagh

Macbeth Branagh
National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s Macbeth, starring Kenneth Branagh as the Scottish king and Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth, directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh. Tickets are on sale now for theaters in Southern California, including UCLA’s James Bridges Theater, the Downtown Independent, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Cinemas Palme D’ore in Palm Desert, the Gaslamp in San Diego, and the Del Mar in Santa Cruz. Check this link for specific dates and times in October and November.

Film Trailer – Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song

Shakespeare’s timeless tale of star-crossed lovers retold as a contemporary trailer park rock opera.

“Every generation reinvents Romeo and Juliet in a way that strikes a chord with its sensibilities, experiences and outlook. This is Romeo and Juliet for the Youtube generation, a film that plays off the wide-ranging tastes of people accustomed to taking the glamorous with the grimy, the comic with the tragic, the beautiful with the freakish, and the venal with the elevated.

Setting Shakespeare to the catchy pop riffs of a rock opera, Romeo and Juliet: A Love Song brims with contrast and juxtaposition. The everlasting story unfolds afresh through a driving, sometimes high camp musical score set against the swapper crates and spliff culture of trailer park boys; the sublime cinematography against the dilapidated caravans and outré interiors; the deep, booming male voice of the Friar embodied in a mystical, diminutive vagrant.

Every country has a trailer park culture – part holiday, part residential, part the last resort. While dotted with the familiar paraphernalia of a NZ camping holiday, it’s also a world of its own where strange scenes can be observed – from the Prince and his family line dancing in front of his caravan, to Romeo’s emotion-explosions, to the Friar stealing cactuses and cooking them.”

— Director Tim Van Dammen

For more about the film visit www.romeoandjulietalovesong.com.

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon’s hip, cool trailer of Much Ado About Nothing has been making the rounds in advance of the film’s release in theatres on June 7, 2013. Like a beautiful art piece, the black & white modern telling of Shakespeare’s comedy is visually stunning; a smart, contemporary setting for the merry war between Beatrice and Benedick. Filmed in one location – quite literally Whedon’s own backyard – it plays out in the public and private recesses of his home and grounds, and will most certainly open up the world of Shakespeare to younger audiences, delivered as it is by a familiar collection of Whedon’s television and film actors.

It was shot in under 12 days while Whedon was on a contractual break that required him to take a week off after completing principal photography of The Avengers in 2011 before beginning to edit his director’s cut of the film. Instead of taking a vacation, he called up his friends and in the true theatrical spirit of “let’s put on a show, my dad has a barn,” he produced this film.  More

Julian Fellowes Trailer for Romeo and Juliet

Deadline.com has posted the first trailer for Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes newest adaptation of Shakespeare’s  Romeo And Juliet which stars Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth. The cast also includes Ed Westwick, Paul Giamatti, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgard, Damian Lewis and Lesley Manville. Carlo Carlei directed. Check out the trailer:

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