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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0367  Tuesday, 25 February 2003

[1]     From:   Charles Weinstein <
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        Date:   Monday, 24 Feb 2003 19:08:30 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0345 Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS

[2]     From:   Matthew Henerson <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 25 Feb 2003 00:30:17 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0345 Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Charles Weinstein <
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Date:           Monday, 24 Feb 2003 19:08:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 14.0345 Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0345 Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS

"[T]he true critic...is the man who becomes your personal enemy on the
sole provocation of a bad performance, and will only be appeased by good
performances." --George Bernard Shaw

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Matthew Henerson <
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Date:           Tuesday, 25 Feb 2003 00:30:17 EST
Subject: 14.0345 Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0345 Re: "The Shakespeare Session" on PBS

I think the time has come to make a distinction between American actors
who do Shakespeare as the jobs come up--and many of us do a lot of
it--and stars who take on a major role after years away from the stage,
or in a film for directors with scrambled priorities.  I didn't think
anybody on whom the director of the most recent filmed "Dream" spent any
time escaped unscathed, and I have seen Stanley Tucci, Calista
Flockhart, and especially Kevin Kline do first rate classical work.  If
you want to see magnificent American classical actors, I recommend Byron
Jennings, Dakin Matthews, James Carpenter, Kandis Chappell, Robert
Foxworth, Thomas Derrah, Christine Estabrook, Nike Doukas, Mark Harelik,
the late David Dukes (archival footage), or Canadians Seanna McKenna,
Lucy Peacock, Paxton Whitehead (a transplanted Brit), Brian Bedford, the
late Nicholas Pennell, Colm Feore, Lewis Gordon, William Hutt, etc.  If
you've never heard of any of these people, you're certainly not alone,
but you also haven't seen the people who do classical material to
pay--to the extent that such a thing is possible anymore--their bills.
By all means, carp at stars, if you must.  Although supermarket tabloids
do a perfectly competent job of that, so it can't be that tough an
assignment.  But table any knee-jerk Anglophilia with regards American
classical acting until you've seen the pros.

Matthew Henerson

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