The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0786. Saturday, 26 July 1997.
Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 1997 10:04:19 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Shakespeare on Radio
In the new biography of Humphrey Bogart by A.M. Sperber and Eric Lax, a
brief discussion is given to the CBS Shakespeare Theater, a 1937 show
used to fill in as summer broadcasting in the days before taped
repeats. Although the show only lasted this one summer, it apparently
caused NBC to schedule John Barrymore in a competing series, turning
Mondays into "The Battle of the Bard." The CBS series was apparently
edited hours of Shakespeare, with some of the shows including Burgess
Meredith as Hamlet, Leslie Howard and Rosalind Russell in Much Ado,
Eddie Robinson in Shrew, and Tallulah Bankhead and Welles 12th Night.
Bogart joined Walter Huston and Brian Aherne in 1H4; Bogart was Hotspur,
but the other roles are not identified. The book reviews Bogart's
performance as adequate (he couldn't compete with Aherne or Huston's
delivery), but it does not the novel casting, especially at a time when
Bogie only played gangsters, and the authors note that this finally gave
the actor a death speech.
This discussion is on page 81 and immediately following.
Do any list members know more about this intriguing series or its
competitor, and are any tapes remaining?