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Celebrating The Bard’s Day in Style

Celebrating The Bard’s Day in Style

In honor of his birthday today (thanks to frontmezzjunkies for reminding me!), here are there options for viewing some of his incredible work from your home and breaking away from the monotony of the streaming services you may have grown weary of over the last month or two.

The Globe Theatre (www.shakespearesglobe.com) is streaming 6 plays for 2 weeks each on its YouTube channel. The second and current selection that began this Monday is a superb production of Romeo & Juliet that is (obviously) tragic but also does a phenomenal job of pulling out a great number of comedic bits that intermittently lighten the mood while continuing to move the tale forward towards its inevitable conclusion foretold in the prologue. I’m always amazed at how I still hope this play will end differently every single time I see it. The Two Noble Kinsmen is up next on May 4th at 2pm, followed by Macbeth on May 11th.

The National Theatre in London (www.nationaltheatre.org.uk) continues it’s @Home streaming theatre series with their fourth selection, Twelfth Night, available for streaming very shortly at 2 pm EDT today. I missed the first selection, One Man, Two Guvnors, but I greatly enjoyed both Jane Eyre and Treasure Island. (You can click on any of the titles to read Ross’ frontmezzjunkies review) Based on those two productions, I am very much looking forward to this Twelfth Night

The Stratford Festival in Canada (www.stratfordfestival.ca) has gone one step further than the Globe and will be streaming TWELVE Shakespeare productions in the coming months. They have broken the selections down into 4 categories exploring themes that directly relate to our current global pandemic and will (hopefully) encourage contemplation and discussion: Social Order and Leadership, Isolation, Minds Pushed to the Edge, and Relationships. The first selection for Social Order and Leadership is King Lear and will be premiering tonight at 6:30 pm EDT beginning with “An Actor Prepares with Colm Feore” who plays King Lear followed by the production at 7 pm EDT. This theme will be rounded out with Coriolanus and Macbeth premiering over the next two weeks. (You can read the frontmezzjunkies article about Stratford’s streaming schedule by clicking here.) I believe each of these will be available for 3 weeks following their premieres. 

This turned into a MUCH longer post (and now my first frontmezzjunkies blog posting) than originally intended, but I hope it gives y’all a chance to appreciate the work of one of history’s greatest theatrical and literary masters. Also, for those who are able in these trying times, please consider donating to one (or all) of these arts organizations, as they strive to provide artistic beauty and intellectual stimulation to the world during this pandemic. (Click on their name up above or down below to be taken directly to their donation site.) My hope is that this time will remind people just how important the arts are to our communities and (for many of us) our mental health.

https://www.shakespearesglobe.com/join-and-support/donate/
https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/support-us/make-a-donation
https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/SupportUs
Shakespeare-BDay-800x600-1

For more, go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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@#frontmezzjunkies

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

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