Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: October ::
Recommended: "'Beauty' stages a war of the sexes"
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1861  Friday, 8 October 2004

From:           Nancy Charlton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Thursday, 7 Oct 2004 20:01:55 -0400
Subject:        Recommended: "'Beauty' stages a war of the sexes"

Today's Christian Science Monitor reviews the new film "stage
Beauty"--replete with a stunning photo clip of Billy Crudup in character:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1008/p12s02-almo.html

  Critic David Sterritt observes at the end of the article:

"English theater of bygone years is in style at the moment, with Annette
Bening arriving in the more modern "Being Julia" next week and Jeremy
Irons joining Al Pacino for "The Merchant of Venice" later this year. In
the popularity sweepstakes, "Stage Beauty" may earn top honors, outdoing
the overrated "Shakespeare in Love" as a dramatic comedy about life and
love in an era more naive -- but hardly more innocent -- than our own."

Nancy Charlton

Click here to read this story online:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1008/p12s02-almo.html

Headline:  'Beauty' stages a war of the sexes
Byline:  David Sterritt Film critic of The Christian Science Monitor
Date: 10/08/2004

The notion of acting in an effeminate way has become commonplace in pop
culture, with TV shows like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" high in the
ratings. Just one century ago such behavior would have been banned,
suppressed, or both.

A few centuries further back, though, drag acts were more than
permissible, they were mandatory. I'm thinking of Shakespeare's time,
when women weren't allowed to perform in plays, since that was
considered immoral. This stricture persisted for decades until King
Charles II decided the English theater needed a new look in the 1660s.
He issued a decree allowing female characters to be played by actual women.

In the marvelous "Stage Beauty," this giant leap for (English) mankind
becomes a personal disaster for one Englishman: Edward Kynaston, known
to his friends as Ned and to all of London as the best living performer
of women's roles. How's he supposed to make his living now that real
women can compete with him?

It's a sad situation, and Ned might despair if it weren't for Maria, a
dressing-room assistant who reassures him both professionally and
romantically.

Then it turns out she's on the road to stage success herself - more
competition to block Ned's possible comeback! Unless he can overcome his
fears, of course, and accept her as a partner, not a rival. That sounds
like a good idea, but it isn't easy when you're burdened with the ego of
a celebrated star.

Billy Crudup delivers his usual excellence as the troubled Ned, helped
by Claire Danes as his dresser, Rupert Graves as the king, and plenty more.

English theater of bygone years is in style at the moment, with Annette
Bening arriving in the more modern "Being Julia" next week and Jeremy
Irons joining Al Pacino for "The Merchant of Venice" later this year.
In the popularity sweepstakes, "Stage Beauty" may earn top honors,
outdoing the overrated "Shakespeare in Love" as a dramatic comedy about
life and love in an era more naive - but hardly more innocent - than our
own.

* Rated R; contains sex and vulgar language.

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

Other Messages In This Thread

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.