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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: August ::
Re: New York CYMBELINE
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0756  Thursday, 13 August 1998.

[1]     From:   Marion K. Morford <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Aug 1998 07:31:21 +0000
        Subj:   Re: CYMBELINE

[2]     From:   Steve Urkowitz <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Aug 1998 09:20:13 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0751  New York CYMBELINE

[3]     From:   John W. Mahon <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 12 Aug 1998 17:20:48 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0751  New York CYMBELINE


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marion K. Morford <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Aug 1998 07:31:21 +0000
Subject:        Re: CYMBELINE

I just have to mention that I saw CYMBELINE on the other side of North
America - at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and it was
extremely well done. It was one of the plays I was not familiar with but
this production definitely generated my interest. Even at nearly three
hours they had cut 800 lines from the script!

Cheers,
Morf

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Steve Urkowitz <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Aug 1998 09:20:13 EDT
Subject: 9.0751  New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0751  New York CYMBELINE

By all means, jump to see the Cymbeline in Central Park.  Indeed it is
not a star vehicle as the wonderful Tempest with Patrick Stewart a few
seasons back, but the PLAY comes through loud and clear, subtle and
mysterious, groaningly contrived and mystically magical.  It's beautiful
to look at.  The music chimes in to underscore the magic as music can do
best.  The actors and the stage action conspire to make each line make
sense.  Good luck getting tickets; we got ours through friends in the
production.  I don't know this year's method of distributing the grace
of free tix.

Joy of rain-less summer theatre out-of-doors,

Steve Meteorologowitz

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John W. Mahon <
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Date:           Wednesday, 12 Aug 1998 17:20:48 +0000
Subject: 9.0751  New York CYMBELINE
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0751  New York CYMBELINE

Dear Shakespeareans,

With regard to Chris Stroffolino's positive review of CYMBELINE in
Central Park, both Tom Pendleton and I, as editors of THE SHAKESPEARE
NEWSLETTER, along with my wife Ellen (herself an English teacher) and
our graduate assistant Diane Grecco, saw the production last week, and
we all thought it very good.  As Chris says, the New York Shakespeare
Festival should be encouraged to continue such positive work on future
productions.  Most of us know how uneven NYSF's productions have been,
but the organization deserves high grades for this one.

In general I concur with Chris's positive and negative observations but
would cavil at the curious decision to "double" the roles of Iachimo and
Jupiter. I too liked this Iachimo, but there was real confusion about
the actor's movements into and out of the other role.  Why Jupiter
should look like the Mikado, indeed why the British should all look
vaguely Asiatic in dress, is a mystery.  Also distracting are director
Andrei Serban's decisions to create a moat between the audience and the
playing area (virtually every performer managed to get soaked at least
once during the evening) and to play a sort of "new age" music almost
continuously during the performance, sometimes even threatening to drown
out the stage conversation.

Most winning, surely, about this production is the wonderful "set," not
a conventional stage at all but a greensward that can be "opened" to
create Belarius's cave and that includes a grove of trees that figure in
certain scenes.  The sandpit downstage offers a focused playing area,
although I'm not sure why this area has to be a sandpit.

In any event, there will be fuller, more perceptive critiques of this
new production in Central Park.  My essential purpose is to reinforce
Chris Stroffolino's appeal to Shakespeareans to make the journey to
Central Park for a very good production of CYMBELINE.

Sincerely,
John Mahon

P.S.-PACE Chris Stroffolino, I doubt that CYMBELINE is about to supplant
WINTER'S TALE on the world's stages.  A very readable play, CYMBELINE on
stage is rather a mess, particularly, of course, in its final endless
scene.  I think WINTER'S TALE works far better both on the page and on
the stage.
 

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