Category Archives: Theatres Around The World

New England Summer (Theatre)

Dear Friends,

As we mentioned last week, the Summer Theatre season kicks off this month and if you’re traveling in New England this summer, New England Today has put together a list of Summer Playhouses and Theatres.

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Whether you’re traveling in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, or touring through all the New England states, there are recommendations to keep you busy all summer long!

Click here to view the article and information on each Playhouse/Theatre.

We spent years running the Westport playhouse and we just love, love, love Summer Theatre!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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On The Move

Dear Friends,

Hamilton is on the move again—this time across the pond.

According to Variety, Hamilton will be making its West End debut next November at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

hamilton-chicago

The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is: will it enjoy the success it has seen in the US?  There are no guarantees, of course, but we think it will.  It is such a fantastic show that is resonating with audiences today to make a real connection.  It is our experience that when a show can do that it is going to run for a very long time.

You can read the full article at Variety here.

We wish The Victoria Palace Theatre all the best success and a very long Hamilton run!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Hamilton in Chicago

Dear Friends,

Great news!  The glory of Hamilton is expanding!

And by that we mean that the first Hamilton tour officially just opened in Chicago to (not surprising!) rave reviews.

HURRAY!

hamilton-chicago

Here is the full review from the Chicago Tribune

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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The Judging of Shylock

Dear Friends,

We just wanted to share an article we read the other day in the New York Times:

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Presides Over Shylock’s Appeal

It’s a delightful article about what a Supreme Court Justice does in her free time: go to Venice and not only watch her grandson perform in a mock trial based on The Merchant of Venice, but preside over the trial.  Justice Ginsburg seems to enjoy participating in Shakespeare mock trials, as she has participated in several.

You can read the full article here:

Ginsburg NYT

We just love that Justice Ginsburg spends some of her free time promoting and participating in the Arts!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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The Cape’s 90th Season!

Dear Friends,

Last August, we told about the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA—which was the very first summer theatre in the US, opening in 1927.

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For their 90th Anniversary Season, they are kicking off with Last of the Red Hot Lovers (June 7-18, 2016).  The rest of the line-up includes The Music Man, Talley’s Folly, The May Queen, Cabaret, and The Mouse Trap.

If you live near Cape Cod or are planning to visit this summer, we highly recommend you visit this amazing historical Playhouse.  Their box office number is 508/385-3911 and their website for more information is www.CapePlayhouse.com

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

 

 

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To The Bard, Part 2!

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder from a post we wrote about a few months ago:

The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre is having a year-long celebration, Shakespeare 400!

Today they are promoting”Talk Like Shakespeare” day and tonight there will be a fireworks display at the Navy Pier!  If you live in or are visiting Chicago, you definitely don’t want to miss out!

To read more, check out the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s website.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

shakespeare 400

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Westport Playhouse

Dear Friends,

Last weekend a friend of ours took a trip to Cape Cod.  Along the way, she saw the signs for the Westport Playhouse—and mentioned it to us, knowing that we ran the Playhouse for many years.

westport

This, of course, brings to mind that it’s Spring!, and their new season will starting soon!  We wanted to urge those of you who live in Connecticut (or willing to make the drive to  this picturesque town!) that now is the best time to purchase season tickets to this amazing and historical playhouse—or know what this season’s plays are.

On the line-up for the 2016 season is:

Art/Red in Repertory (May 3-29)

Buyer and Cellar (June 14—July 3)

The Invisible Hand (July 19—August 6)

What the Butler Saw (August 23—September 10)

Camelot (October 4-30)

There are several options available for ordering season tickets.  To read more about each play or order tickets, go here.

Best regards,

Philip and Marilyn Langner

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A Woman’s Place

Dear Friends,

As we alluded to in our last post—and that you undoubtedly know—there were no women actors during Shakespeare’s time, their parts usually played by young boys.  We did a bit of digging to find out exactly why, but there doesn’t seem to be anything exact about it!

We found a great article from Stage Beauty about it: http://stagebeauty.net/th-women.html

The most widely accepted theory was the Church during this time vilified the traveling acting troupe, even blaming the Great Plague on them!  As such, it was thought to be too “unseemly” for a woman to be allowed on stage.

Of course, not everyone thought this way—on mainland Europe things were changing more rapidly than in England.  In fact, during Elizabeth I’s reign, women were established in Italian theatre with France quickly following suit.

It wasn’t until the reign of Charles I (1625-1649) where women in England were allowed to take the stage.  That is to say, not English women—oh no! The very first was a Frenchwoman named Henrietta Maria who came to England with a French company.  However, apparently the novelty of having a woman on stage was still too radical for England and the French troupe soon went back to France having been booed off many stages.

Then all of theatre took a huge backslide, when Oliver Cromwell rose to power during the English Civil War.  Without the protection of the crown, the Puritans were allowed to dictate and not only were women banned from the stage, but the entire performance was banned and “theatre found itself cast into another dark age.”

With the downfall of Cromwell, theatre found itself back in favor with Charles II with a mixed reaction to women on the stage.  It finally happened on December 8, 1660—the first Englishwoman took the stage.  Margaret Hughes played Desdemona in The Moor of Venice, which was thought to be a success.

From that point, the gates opened and slowly women were welcomed to the stage until we finally arrived at the point where the idea of theatre without a woman playing in a woman’s role seemed implausible.

You can read the whole article here: http://stagebeauty.net/th-women.html

And to think now we are at the point (as we told you about in an earlier post) where the Donmar Warehouse produced a version of Henry IV with an all-female cast!

We find this so interesting—that theatre shows this ascent of women from the “dark days” of Shakespeare’s time to now when we are enthusiastically enjoying the glorious tide today.

Best,

Philip Langner and Marilyn Clark Langner

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The Kennedy Center

Dear Friends,

Today we want to tell you about the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.–a GREAT U.S. theatre!

We have been thinking about the Kennedy Center since we saw President and Mrs. Obama attending a performance there recently.

We were very involved in opening the Kennedy Center because The Theatre Guild was designated as the subscription organization for the Kennedy Center theatre-goers to subscribe to each winter series of plays.

We began in 1971 and had a subscription audience of 15,000 members.  We remained at the Center for 15 years, and during that time we also presented some of our own plays there.

The Eisenhower Theatre is great for plays and musicals, with a seating capacity of 1,161!  It is a lovely theatre and one of the very best places to bring a play.

eisenhower theatre

It’s a wonderful historic theatre that has come into existence in our lifetime.  According to The Kennedy Center’s Archives:

Two months after President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, Congress designated the National Cultural Center (designed by Edward Durell Stone) as a “living memorial” to Kennedy, and authorized $23 million to help build what was now known as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Fundraising continued at a swift pace–with much help coming from the Friends of the Kennedy Center volunteers, who fanned out across the nation to attract private support and nations around the world began donating funds, building materials, and artworks to assist in the project’s completion. In December 1964, President Lyndon Johnson turned the first shovelful of earth at the Center’s construction site, using the same gold-plated spade that had been used in the groundbreaking ceremonies for both the Lincoln Memorial in 1914 and the Jefferson Memorial in 1938.

From its very beginnings, the Kennedy Center has represented a unique public/private partnership. As the nation’s living memorial to President Kennedy, the Center receives federal funding each year to pay for maintenance and operation of the building, a federal facility. However, the Center’s artistic programs and education initiatives are paid for almost entirely through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.

The Center made its public debut on September 8, 1971, with a gala opening performance featuring the world premiere of a Requiem mass honoring President Kennedy, a work commissioned from the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. The occasion enabled Washington to begin earning a reputation as a cultural hub as well as a political one; as The New York Times wrote in a front-page article the next morning, “The capital of this nation finally strode into the cultural age tonight with the spectacular opening of the $70 million [Kennedy Center]…a gigantic marble temple to music, dance, and drama on the Potomac’s edge.”

The Center’s presence also enabled Washington to become an international stage, hosting the American debuts of the Bolshoi Opera and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, as well as the first-ever U.S. performances by Italy’s legendary La Scala opera company.

To read and learn more about the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, visit their website.

 

 

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One Take Shakespeare

Dear Friends,

We recently read about an extraordinary opportunity from the Donmar Warehouse in conjunction with St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn for young ladies aged 13-18 years old:  record a 90 second video performing Shakespeare!

The two best entries will win tickets to the performance of Donmar’s production of Henry IV at St. Ann’s Warehouse—with an all-female cast.

According to Donmar, whose original One Take Shakespeare competition ran last year in London:

Alongside our all-female production of HENRY IV, we wanted to challenge young women across the country to make Shakespeare their own by recording themselves performing a speech from one of his plays, written for a male character.

Ninety seconds, no props, no special effects – just you, a camera, and the world’s greatest playwright. You can record your speech in your bedroom, in the car, at school or in the park – wherever you want. This is your chance to be the King of Scotland or the Prince of Denmark, a local drunk, a mighty warrior or a hopeless romantic.  Even if you have never attempted to say a Shakespeare speech out loud before, give it a try!

What a fantastic opportunity for young ladies!  If you know anyone in the age group that is interested, please please pass along the information above to them!

Deadline for the competition is December 4th and more details are here or you can email them onetakeshakespeare@donmarwarehouse.com

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