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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: August ::
Re: *R3* Videos; *Err.*
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0824.  Wednesday, 6 August 1997.

[1]     From:   Joanne Gates <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Aug 1997 15:42:31 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 8.0816  Looking for 3 Richard IIIs

[2]     From:   Gavin Witt <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 5 Aug 1997 15:34:18 -0500 (CDT)
        Subj:   Re: Comedy of Errors


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Joanne Gates <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Aug 1997 15:42:31 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: 8.0816  Looking for 3 Richard IIIs
Comment:        Re: SHK 8.0816  Looking for 3 Richard IIIs

I purchased the MacKellan Richard at Columbia House video.  They have a
web site, but I do all purchases off line: http://www.columbiahouse.com/

If you are joining, you can get your first 6 or 7 for a penny each, a
good deal, committing you to buy the same number at regular price. No, I
am not affilitated, but ...  The prices sometimes go down after first
month or two of release. After initial membership purchases you get
dividends, so just with my women's lit and Shakespeare interests, I've
acquired quite a video library at reasonable cost.

Is the "restored" Richard III coming out on video? At one time they had
a web site. I found more on Richard films at:
http://www.webcom.com/blanchrd/mckellen/index.html

Joanne Gates

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gavin Witt <
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Date:           Tuesday, 5 Aug 1997 15:34:18 -0500 (CDT)
Subject:        Re: Comedy of Errors

In  belated follow-up to a thread of a month ago (if not more),
regarding Comedy of Errors (particularly the possibility of playing the
entire piece as a projected fantasy of Egeon's in the moment before his
death), those in or around the Chicago area over the next two weeks are
cordially invited to attend a live outdoor production of the piece that
does not go quite so far but yet takes certain ambitious liberties in
trying to find the "more" that lurks behind the farcical exterior of
this marvelous early play.

At 8 p.m. on Friday-Sunday August 8-10, and again at 8 p.m. Thu-Sat
August 14-16, you can come to the Hutchinson Courtyard of the Reynolds
Club on the campus of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park (57th and
University Avenue)--admission is $10-12 for adults, less for
students/seniors/groups.  The production imagines the action taking
place in a somewhat imaginary Little Italy on the Feast Day of San Rocco
in 1943 (liberation of Italy).  Vincente "the Duke" Solinus has some
trouble in the neighborhood with some Syracusans moving in
unbidden.....

The hope is that the production actually responds to the
Commedia/Plautine origins of the piece by using familiar types of
somewhat "antique" flavor (vaudeville styles of Chaplin, Marx Bros.,
Keaton) to generate recognizable "types" and a heightened world while
anchoring them in an equally distinguishable reality.  The play seems to
demand an environment that is a very tight, closed community (where
everyone knows everybody) ruled by a single powerful figure with power
of life and death-a world of explosive passion, intense desire, and the
omnipresent threat of death.  Hello, Brian DePalma (perhaps by way of
Disney).  We did take certain liberties, like making Balthazar into
Frank and Connie Balthazar, but without changing the script (short of
reassigning newly split lines).  The whole play, then, becomes a
suspended carnival, where the restoration of "order" made possible by
the comic conclusion is the resumption of a form of riot-and the
"madness" of the day happens to everyone, not just Antipholus and
Dromio.

I'm curious if anyone has encountered productions that made similar
choices.  Certainly influenced by affect of Flying K. Bros. production
years ago that managed to incorporate  genuine sentiment (particularly
for Luciana/Adriana) with high-stakes physical comedy and athleticism.

So, audience welcome, but so too are any responses/reactions.

Best,
Gavin Witt
Resident Dramaturg
Court Theatre, Chicago

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