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" William Shakespeare

First Nighter: Gregory Doran's Sumptuous "King Lear" Production, with Antony Sher, Now on Stateside Screens

David Finkle | Posted 11.04.2016 | Entertainment
David Finkle

In his King Lear revival, Gregory Doran, the Royal Shakespeare Company director and artistic director, goes for the gold. That's to say, gold dominat...

First Nighter: Shakespeare's "Cymbeline" Screened In Melly Still's Fiery RSC Production

David Finkle | Posted 10.21.2016 | Arts
David Finkle

Perhaps Melly Still's remarkable Royal Shakespeare Company production of Cymbeline, William Shakespeare's romance period play -- unfolding in ancient ...

First Nighter: The Berkshires's See-Worthy "Merchant of Venice" and "An American Daughter"

David Finkle | Posted 08.16.2016 | Arts
David Finkle

THE BERKSHIRES--Jonathan Epstein, white hair flowing below the collar of his robe, is as dignified a Shylock as you'd want in Tina Packer's Shakespear...

First Nighter: "The Merchant of Venice" in Jonathan Munby's First-Rate Shakespeare's Globe Production

David Finkle | Posted 07.22.2016 | Arts
David Finkle

William Shakespeare has certainly posed challenges for directors these many decades and centuries later. What to do, for instance, in the 21st centur...

First Nighter: London Currently Serving Multi-Star Takes on "The Threepenny Opera," "Funny Girl," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hobson's Choice"

David Finkle | Posted 06.17.2016 | Arts
David Finkle

London--Bertolt Brecht would likely approve of The Threepenny Opera as Rufus Norris directs it, Imogen Knight choreographs it, Vicki Mortimer designs ...

First Nighter: "Henry IV" at St. Ann's Warehouse, "Henry V" on Screens Reign Supreme

David Finkle | Posted 11.11.2016 | Arts
David Finkle

Director Phyllida Lloyd's inspiration for her all-women Shakespeare productions -- first Julius Caesar and now Henry IV, both at St. Ann's Warehouse -- wasn't simply to have her actors perform a William Shakespeare play but to have them appear as prison inmates putting on a William Shakespeare play.

First NIghter: Two Big Treats at London's Globe, Two Mistreats Elsewhere

David Finkle | Posted 10.07.2016 | Arts
David Finkle

Even before William Shakespeare's so-called "problem play" Measure for Measure gets properly underway at the Globe, director Dominic Dromgoole has loosed on the audience what looks and sounds like a musical 16th-century orgy attended by various bawds and Lords (Lawds?).

First Nighter: Peter Sarsgaard in Shakespeare's and Austin Pendleton's "Hamlet"

David Finkle | Posted 06.16.2015 | Arts
David Finkle

It's surprising how many actors appearing as William Shakespeare's Hamlet don't take heed of the young Dane's advice to the players about speaking trippingly on the tongue and not sawing the air. They utter the sage admonition but then go about ignoring it.

First Nighter: The Royal Shakespeare Company's Regal 'Love's Labour's Lost' and 'Love's Labour's Won'

David Finkle | Posted 06.01.2015 | Arts
David Finkle

Both are surpassingly good treatments. I heartily recommend them, although I definitely question whether it's commercially wise to attach the Love's Labour's Won name to a script that would have more sway with potential patrons under its actual title.

First Nighter: The Visit Overstays Its Welcome, Henry IV Stumbles

David Finkle | Posted 10.19.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

This time of year, things are so beehive-hectic in these parts that it's easy to drive around on a single Saturday and see, say, The Visit at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and the compacted-into-one Henry IV Part I and IIat Shakespeare and Company.

First Nighter: 'Henry IV Part I' and 'Henry IV Part II' on Screen With Antony Sher

David Finkle | Posted 09.04.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

William Shakespeare historians have tried and failed to find a figure during the reigns of Henry IV and Henry V who might have been the inspiration for Sir John Falstaff, whom many of the playwright's advocates consider the preeminent Shakespeare character.

First Nighter: 'Titus Andronicus,' 'Antony and Cleopatra' Expand the Globe

David Finkle | Posted 08.15.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

Scholars aren't certain when William Shakespeare wrote Titus Andronicus, although they favor 1593. They are more certain that it was considered his first major success. This says something about Elizabethan taste, since the play is such a non-stop blood bath.

First Nighter: Simon Russell Beale Monarchic in HD 'King Lear'

David Finkle | Posted 06.29.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

It would be folly to claim this is the greatest Lear yet seen, but it's surely no exaggeration to declare it's right up there with the best of them.

First Nighter: Arin Arbus's King Lear, David Herskovitz's Uriel Acosta

David Finkle | Posted 05.28.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

Plays are revelations. Good plays, that is, and the better a play, the more revelatory it can be. And let's just say King Lear -- now at Theatre For a New Audience with Arin Arbus directing Michael Pennington in the title role -- easily falls into the better-play category.

First Nighter: Britten's "Midsummer Night's Dream" Dreamy at the Met

David Finkle | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

Looking over the relatively lighter crowd coursing into the first revival of Benjamin Britten's Midsummer Night's Dream at the Metropolitan Opera Hous...

First Nighter: All-Female "Julius Caesar" Works Except When It Doesn't

David Finkle | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
David Finkle

The funniest aside takes place during one of Walters' most demanding sequences as disillusioned Brutus. What she breaks it off to say to her convict colleagues won't be revealed here, but it's a laugh-and-a-half.

First Nighter: "Love's Labour's Lost" Loses More Than Wins in the Park; Downtown's "Under the Greenwood Tree" As You'll Like It

David Finkle | Posted 10.12.2013 | Arts
David Finkle

It would be a pleasant chore to report that Shakespeare in the Park's Love's Labour's Lost is an amusingly silly musical tribute to the Bard, as it's ...