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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: September ::
Re: Lincoln Center TN
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0795  Friday, 4 September 1998.

[1]     From:   Christine Gilmore <
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        Date:   Thursday, 03 Sep 1998 10:13:35 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

[2]     From:   Stephanie Cowell <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Sep 1998 10:20:17 -0500
        Subj:   SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN -Reply

[3]     From:   Louis Swilley <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Sep 1998 08:47:44 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

[4]     From:   Richard A. Burt <
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        Date:   Thursday, 03 Sep 1998 11:56:20 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

[5]     From:   Richard A. Burt <
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        Date:   Thursday, 03 Sep 1998 11:56:20 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

[6]     From:   Virginia Byrne <
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        Date:   Thursday, 3 Sep 1998 12:38:17 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

[7]     From:   Abigail Quart <
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        Date:   Friday, 04 Sep 1998 14:42:38 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Gilmore <
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Date:           Thursday, 03 Sep 1998 10:13:35 -0400
Subject: 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

> Or am I the only one who found her totally unequipped for the role?

David, you were not the only one to think that Helen Hunt's performance
as Viola was abysmal.  The lack of inflection, the two facial
expressions, and the lack of connection between text and action rendered
her performance unbearable.  I too was surprised.  Well, at least, Uncle
Toby and Sir Aguecheek were good.  I also thought the Clown was annoying
and overly highlighted.  I'm sure people have different opinons.  I'd
like to hear them.

Ciao, cg.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Cowell <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Sep 1998 10:20:17 -0500
Subject: Qs: Lincoln Center TN -Reply
Comment:        SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN -Reply

I agree with David Crosby! I couldn't stand the production, particularly
the hard, amateurish work of Helen Hunt . . . oh where was the mystical,
daring, poetic young Viola with the soaring passages of verse?  I
disliked the whole thing . . . with all the terrific Shakespearean
actors and actresses we have today what shoddy casting!  I only liked
the Sir Toby, Sir Andrew and Malvolio.  I can't understand what the New
York papers have made such a fuss about. It reminded me of bad high
school productions. Now I want to reread it and watch the movie which I
like very much to reestablish the soaring longing and poetry in my mind!

A production which starred the water, mayhap?

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Louis Swilley <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Sep 1998 08:47:44 -0500
Subject: 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

Not *totally* unequipped, but not the best, for sure.  Some allowance
should be made, since this was a filmed performance of a theatrical play
- I daresay from my viewing of her performances in films, Ms Hunt might
well be able to do justice to a *film* of the play, had she a competent
director.  (And thereby hangs a tale!)

Before we condemn her performance, the man who played Orsino must be
taken to task, for certainly his work here was spectacularly poor.

Worth the whole spending of 3 hours were the performances of the three
older men in the roles of Aguecheek, Belch and Malvolio (and in that
order).  The rest decline in quality from there. Fieste, of course, was
a disaster.

For years, I have been hoping for a production of this difficult play
that will explain its  - what? - point?  I haven't seen that yet.
Directors seem to think that they have no such obligation; they find
this and that titillating scene or characterization, then let the larger
issues - whatever they may be, for the director does not seem to know -
fend for themselves.  In this production, I very much enjoyed the
air-headed Olivia and the wobbly-minded Aguecheek,  but, as I ween, the
director had not the slightest conception of the use of such
characterizations in a larger view of the play's structure.

It is as though our society has no longer any patience with - nor do we
search for - a *philosophical* center and significance  of a work of
art.  Art for us has become merely entertainment.

      L. Swilley

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A. Burt <
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Date:           Thursday, 03 Sep 1998 11:56:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

I thought she was terrible too.  The production (except of the set and
music) was a disappointment.  I do find it interesting that the
production's mis en scene is very similar to that of the production of
part of the Capulet ball scene from _Romeo and Juliet_ in Hytner's
_Object of my Affection_ (starring Paul Rudd-in the film, not in the
film's production of R and J).

Best,
Richard

[5]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Richard A. Burt <
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Date:           Thursday, 03 Sep 1998 11:56:20 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

I, too, am in love with Jamie Buchman, and I, too, was a little
embarrassed by Helen Hunt's performance in the Lincoln Center production
of _12th Night_.  I think the physical aspects of her acting were at
least competent, but I agree with David Crosby's assessment of her line
delivery: groan.

Painfully,
--Chris Fassler

[6]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Virginia Byrne <
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Date:           Thursday, 3 Sep 1998 12:38:17 EDT
Subject: 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

Mr Crosby, I agree totally with your evaluation of Hunt's portrayal of
Viola. I was not mad about her in Illyria but furious. If that as good
as she gets, she's are all in trouble.

Her TV name is, I suppose, to attract  the audience. I don't know
whether that speaks sadly of the producers or the audiences. She had no
clue what she was saying or doing and I even noted her shifting her eyes
from Orsino at one point to find the camera . . . tv actress's instinct
I guess. Sad when there were so many actresses capable of the role . . .
like maybe Cherry Jones? or even some film/tv who have the stage
training.

What a chore for those who had to work with her woodeness.I rather likes
Sedgewick though. What did you think?

[7]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Abigail Quart <
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Date:           Friday, 04 Sep 1998 14:42:38 -0400
Subject: 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0792  Qs: Lincoln Center TN

I'm told Helen Hunt turned in a perfectly fine Bianca in another
production, so she is competent in Shakespeare. To me, her performance,
the night I saw it, seemed uncomfortable. But what about Kyra
Sedgewick's bizarre Olivia? I had great sympathy for her until I saw the
intermission interview with the director which accompanied the televised
performance. The director was claiming she never felt freer to follow
her own feelings about a part. And here I'd been blaming him alone.

I will say it wasn't as dreadful onstage as it appeared on TV. The
closeups were not kind. And the sound, excluding the unpleasant music,
did not feel as clanky and echoing as it was on TV.
 

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