SHAVINGS

The Plays on and off the Stage


 

October 2007

 


 

TABLE of CONTENTS

a.      The Shaw Season at Niagara

e.   More Shaw in Canada

b.       The Shaw Season in Chicago

f.    Shaw in Austria and Switzerland

c.       The Shaw Season in New York

g.   More Shaw in England and Scotland

d.       Shaw in Germany

h.      Late Clippings and reviews

 


a.  The Shaw Festival

 

Shaw Festival 07 - Presented by HSBC The World's Local Bank 

 

Mrs Warren’s Profession and Getting Married are announced for 2008.

 

The 2007 Season included The Philanderer (1st May to 7th October) and St Joan (21st April to 27th October).  We can also mention Lady Gregory’s Kiltartan Comedies (20th June to 6th October), The Cassilis Engagement by St John Hankin, and Feydeau’s Hotel Peccadillo.

 

The 2006 season included Arms and the Man and Too True to be Good.

 

IMAGE010 Niagara07

 

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b.  The Shaw Season in Chicago

 

 

The next play announced by the Shaw Chicago Theatre Company is Getting Married, 17th November – 10th December 2007. Information from http://www.shawchicago.org/

 

 

Chicago 07

 

Earlier this year (5th May to 1st July), also in Chicago, Kevin Fox directed Timeline Theatre’s production of Widowers’ Houses.

Timeline Theatre 07

 

 

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c.  The Shaw Season in New York

 

The Gingold Theatrical Group, directed by David Staller, is giving a reading of a Shaw play at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South every month.  The schedule is

 

18th June 2007 @ 7.00 p.m.

VILLAGE WOOING & HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND

23rd July 2007 @ 7.00 p.m.

THE MILLIONAIRESS

17th September 2007 @ 7.00 p.m.

MAN AND SUPERMAN

22nd October 2007 @ 7.00 p.m.

PRESS CUTTINGS &  PASSION, POISON and PETRIFACTION

19th November 2007 @ 7.00 p.m.

WIDOWERS HOUSES

17th December 2007 @ 7.00 p.m.

PYGMALION


Monday October 22nd at
7pm @ The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South.

Two utterly ridiculous one-acts by George Bernard Shaw:

PRESS CUTTINGS (1909) with PASSION, POISON AND PETRIFACTION (1905).

These two short and highly entertaining plays feature Matthew Arkin, Annie Golden, Jayne Houdyshell, Charlotte Moore, Euan Morton, Brian Murray, Michael Musto.  Howard Kissel will host.  David Staller is producer and director.

 

Village Wooingsupermanoctober_poster

 

More information can be found at http://projectshaw.com/.  We thank Richard Dietrich for alerting us to this, and for sending us the following note:

 

David Staller's ‘Project Shaw’ in NYC, which is doing Shaw's entire dramatic corpus over three years, that being the amazing part.   Now that I've seen a production for myself, I have to let you know that this is ‘amazing’ in many other ways as well, and you should kick yourself if you don't see it.  First of all, the location, the Players Club in Gramercy Park, is worth a visit all by itself.   Established by Edwin Booth, this place serves as some sort of unofficial Hall of Fame for American actors, whose portraits line the wall.   That may be one reason that Staller is able to get some of the best actors, mostly of the Broadway and Hollywood type, to do these once-a-month concert readings.  For free!   They do it for the love of it and the enjoyment they get.   The actors do this also because Monday night is a night off in the theater, but the effort and talent and skill that goes into this suggests a residue of interest in Shaw by actors that is not apparent in the major theaters.  I witnessed on Feb. 19th some delightfully intelligent presentations of three one-acts (perhaps the only Shaw plays I've never seen acted!) of ‘Interlude at the Playhouse,’ ‘The King, the Constitution, and the Lady,’ and ‘The Music Cure,’ starring Marian Seldes and, lo and behold, Paxton Whitehead, the man whose playing of Shavian roles at the Shaw Festival in the 70s was instrumental in our making visits there a holy habit.   At the end of this performance, a lady behind us exclaimed, in a surprised voice, ‘This is better than Broadway!’  

Tickets are available online by credit card at http://www.projectshaw.com/ and by calling 212-352-3101.   $15 per ticket, going on sale the first of every month (the production is the third Monday of every month.  

 

David Staller, the producer and director of PROJECT SHAW will also begin a new reading series in the fall. SHAW: ON THE ROCKS. This, by popular request, will be a performer-driven series allowing actors to play the Shavian roles they’d always dreamed to.   An evening comprised of various scenes will cast actors playing the parts they’d always wanted to but never did: due to age, gender or opportunity. This series will occur six times in the upcoming season. Actors who have expressed interest include many of New York theatre’s luminaries. Aside from actors, casts will also include playwrights, directors, producers and journalists. This series is scheduled to begin in January of 2008.  ON THE ROCKS is the title of one of Shaw’s plays.

 

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Also in New York:  The Irish Repertory Theatre (132 West 22nd St.) will continue its twentieth season with The Devil's Disciple, directed by Tony Walton. Performances begin 5th December 2007

 

Tony Walton has directed and designed for the Irish Rep The Importance of Being Earnest, Major Barbara and the U.S. premiere of Noël Coward's After the Ball. He has also directed and designed the smash hit revival of Where's Charlie? for the Goodspeed Opera House,   Oops! The Big Apple Circus Stage Show for a 60 city U.S. tour and directed Noël Coward's A Song at Twilight for Bay Street Theatre, Gen LeRoy's Missing Footage for San Diego's Old Globe and recently staged Orson Welles' Moby Dick - Rehearsed, for East Hampton's John Drew Theatre for whom he also directed a number of star-studded readings.   For the past 50 years Tony Walton has been designing settings and costumes for theatre and film.  He was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1991.  

 

Irish Rep


Cast is to be announced.


Performances of The Devil's Disciple are Wednesday - Saturday at 8 PM.  Matinees are Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $60 and $55 and can be purchased by calling The Irish Repertory Theatre Box Office at (212) 727-2737.  For more information, call (212) 727-2737 or visit http://www.irishrep.org/.

 

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Pygmalion is playing at the American Airlines Theatre, 227 West 42nd Street, New York, in a production by the Roundabout Theatre.  Claire Danes plays Eliza, Jefferson Mays is Higgins and Boyd Gaines is Colonel Pickering.  It is directed by David Grindley.  The play opened on 18th October and will run to 16th December.  No images seem to be available as yet (22nd October).

 

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 d.  Shaw in Germany

 

(Notes kindly supplied by Lucia Krämer)

 

Androklus und der Löwe (Androcles and the Lion)

 

Residenz Theater München

1st, 5th, 12th, 16th, 20th, 23rd October 2007

 

Director: Dieter Dorn

Decor: Dieter Dorn, Gotthard Wulff

Costumes: Monika Staykova

Music: Rudolf Gregor Knabl

With Anna Riedl, Lisa Wagner, Rudolf Waldemar Brem, Burchard Dabinnus, Matthias Eberth, Maximilian Löwenstein, Thomas Loibl, Oliver Nägele, Felix Rech, Arnulf Schumacher, Michael Tregor, Rudolf Wessely, Stefan Wilkening and the Kung Fu Academy Berlin Bambang Tanuwikarja and Benjamin Schiegl.

Illustration
- Wer wird diesen Löwen zähmen? Michael Tregor und der Löwe in Dieter Dorns Shaw-Inszenierung.  Foto: Residenztheater

 

 

 

 

My Fair Lady

 

Meiningen: Das Meininger Theater

Musical Director: Stefanos Tsialis

Direction: Christian Rinke 

6th May, 1st, 24th June 2007

 

My fair Lady 01

My Fair Lady

 

Theater Dortmund

Director: Michael Jurgons

Musical Director: Ralf Lange

Opened 1st September, 16th, 22nd September; 7th, 12th, 19th, 31st October 2007

 

 

 

 

My Fair Lady

Stadttheater Bremerhaven

Musical Director: Christoph Hornischer

Direction: Peter Grisebach

13th May; 3rd, 13th June 2007 

 

Daniela Stuckstette

Eliza Doolittle

Hans Neblung

Professor Henry Higgins

Günter Pirow

Colonel Pickering

Klaus Damm

Alfred P. Doolittle

Christine Dorner

Mrs. Higgins

Iris Wemme

Mrs Pearce

Ralph Ertel

Freddy Eynsford-Hill

Andrea Fitz

Mrs. Eynsford-Hill

Musical Director

Christoph Hornischer

Director

Peter Grisebach

 

 

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e.  More Shaw in Canada

Information supplied by Tiffany Perala.

 

From 9th to 14th July of 2007 at the Fringe of Toronto Festival, Burning Passions Theatre presented Mrs. Warren's Profession at Hart House, The Music Room, University of Toronto.

 

Vivie Warren

Tracy Michailidis

Mrs. Kitty Warren

Catherine McNally

Frank Gardner

Bryce Alexander

Praed

Jeffrey Aarles

Sir George Crofts

Daryl Taylor

Rev. Sam Gardner

Michael C. Newsome

Laurel Smith

Director

Alexa Carroll

Stage Manager

 

(Click on name for biographiess)

To view production photos, click here.

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f.   Shaw in Austria and Switzerland

 

Barbara Pfeifer supplies this information:

 

The 2007-2008 season on the German-speaking stage has already seen two new productions of the Pygmalion-based Loewe/Lerner musical My Fair Lady. While the Landestheater Linz (Austria) transfers the story to a cinematic setting, with Higgins directing and Eliza starring in a remake of the notorious movie, thus ‘mixing A Chorus Line with My Fair Lady’ (Oberösterreichische Nachrichten, 16th October 2007), the innovative rendition of the Stadttheater Bern centers around a migration context, which ‘re-invests the musical with its socio-political message’ (Der Bund, 15th October 2007).

 

 

My Fair Lady

 

Premiere: 14th October 2007

Landestheater Linz, Großes Haus

 

24th November; 14th, 17th, 22th, 31st December 2007; 9th, 27th January; 6th, 8th, 9th, 27th February; 5th, 26th April; 6th, 8th, 10th, 28th; 6th, 13th June; 4th July 2008

 

Eliza Doolittle

Julia Klotz

Henry Higgins

Martin Achrainer

Colonel Pickering

Hans-Günther Müller

Alfred P. Doolittle

Klaus-Dieter Lerche

Freddy Eynsford Hill

Mark Calvert

Mrs. Higgins

Karen Robertson

Mrs. Pearce

Gabriele Salzbacher

Mrs. Eynsford Hill

Elisabeth Braun

Marc Reibel/Alexander Hannemann

Music

Jochen Ulrich

Director & Choreography

Renate Schuler

Set Design

Bjanka Ursulov

Costume Design

 

My Fair Lady

 

Premiere: 13th October 2007

Stadttheater Bern

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g.      More Shaw in England and Scotland

We note the following amateur productions:

22th - 27th October
Sat matinee

My Fair Lady
Witham Amateur Operatic Society

Witham Public hall
Witham 

5th – 10th November

My Fair Lady
Our Lady's High School FPA Light Opera Society

Motherwell Theatre
Motherwell 

5th – 17th November

Sat matinee

My Fair Lady
County Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society

Theatre Royal
Lincoln 

8th- 10th November
Sat matinee

My Fair Lady
GEMS (Gravesend Entertainment & Musical Society)

Woodville Halls
Gravesend 

28th November  - 1st December

My Fair Lady
Mid Argyll Musical Society

Ardrishaig Public Hall
Ardrishaig 

 

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h.  Late Clippings:

 

Heartbreak House

 

Directed by Les Waters, this was produced by Berkeley Rep at the Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley,California, 31st August – 14th October 2007.  Production photographs can be seen at
http://www.berkeleyrep.org/season/0708/1985.asp.

 

Mrs Warren’s Profession

 

Directed by Anders Cato, this played at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, 14th August to 1st September.  With Lisa Banes, Xanthe Elbrick, Randy Harrison, Walter Hudson, Mark Nelson, and Stephen Temperley.

 

With its inspired cast and vigorous direction, George Bernard S

 

Pygmalion

 

Starring Tim Pigott-Smith, Michelle Dockery, Tony Haygarth, Barbara Jefford, Barry Stanton & Una Stubbs, and directed by Peter Hall, this has been touring in England and Ireland:

 

Theatre Royal, Plymouth on 30th July

Theatre Royal, Windsor on 6th August

Cambridge Arts Theatre, Cambridge on 13th August

Malvern Theatres, Malvern on 20th August

Oxford Playhouse, Oxford on 27th August

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford on 3rd September

Darlington Civic Theatre, Darlington on 10th September

New Theatre Cardiff, Cardiff on 17th September

Grand Opera House, Belfast on 24th September

 

 

 Saint Joan

 

This ran at the National Theatre in London for a season beginning on 4th July and ending on 27th September.  Next year Nicholas Hytner will direct Major Barbara at the National.

 

Ladvenu

Jamie Ballard

Stogumber

Michael Thomas

Courcelles

James Barriscale

The Page

Luke Treadaway

Tremouille

Simon Bubb

Poulengey

Ross Waiton

La Hire

Finn Caldwell

Warwick

Angus Wright

Dunois

Christopher Colquhoun

Ensemble

Michael Camp, Eke Chukwu, Simon Markey, David Ricardo-Pearce

The Inquisitor

Oliver Ford Davies

Understudy Joan

Polly Lister

Joan

Anne-Marie Duff

 Marianne Elliott

Director

Archbishop of Reims

James Hayes

 Rae Smith

Designer

The Executioner

Jonathan Jaynes

 Paule Constable

Lighting

Cauchon

Paterson Joseph

 Hofesh Shechter

Choreographer

Bluebeard

Gareth Kennerley

 Paul Arditti

Sound Designer

Baudricort

Brendan O'Hea

 Jocelyn Pook

Music

D'estivet

William Osborne

Harvey Brough

Music Director

The Dauphin

Paul Ready

 

 

 

Review by Jeff S. Dailey:

 

The Villains Always Wear Red

 

There are two plays currently playing limited runs in London, and, although centuries separate the time of their action, they have one thing in common—really bad cardinals.  The evil perpetuated in the guise of piety is overwhelming in both plays—the classic Saint Joan by G. B. Shaw at the National Theatre, and The Last Confession by Roger Crane at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. 

  

Saint Joan is, of course, the better known of the two.  Written in 1923, shortly after Joan’s canonization, it is Shaw’s rumination on the foibles of the Roman Church, combined with a study of faith and politics.  Shaw was not the first to use La Pucelle as the subject of a play.  Joan’s comrade-in-arms, Gilles de Rais, wrote a lengthy drama on her story shortly after her death.  Friedrich Schiller went on to write a popular work on the subject that was used as the basis for operas by Verdi and Tchaikovsky.  But Shaw takes a more philosophical approach—looking past the plot to the meanings behind it, trying to explain the reasons the men who killed Joan did what they did.  He does not always succeed—some of the characters come off as opportunists, others as evildoers.  His main focus seems to be that the line between heresy and holiness is thin and moveable.  And he delights in exposing the hypocrisy of the cardinals and inquisitors who, seeing a threat to their power in this unusual girl, set out to destroy her

 

The National Theatre production, directed by Marianne Elliott, focuses on the interplay between the characters. Anne-Marie Duff is a competent, underpowered Joan, whose gentle Irish brogue implies that she speaks for Shaw himself.  Paul Ready is amusing as the sulky Dauphin, but none of the actors stand out, although a good ensemble is achieved.  Elliott, in cahoots with playwright Samuel Adamson, has trimmed forty minutes off the running time (which is still over three hours), but not necessarily in the right places.  She severely cuts the epilogue, in which Shaw attempts to explain the effect Joan has had on others—the Gentleman and the Soldier are both eliminated, although some of the latter’s lines are reassigned to others.  The little song the Soldier sings (composed by Shaw) is nowhere to be heard.  The truncation of the epilogue throws the rest of the play out of balance, with the trial scene now seeming excessively long and repetitive.  Perhaps the cuts could have been better arranged. 

 

Elliott staged the play on a large, moving platform with lots of chairs.  The chairs are not just for sitting on—they are played as percussion instruments (a la Stomp) and used to build barricades and a pyre.  When not being used on the platform, they surround it, and the offstage cast members sit in them waiting for their entrances.  Some trees in the background attempt to give the setting some naturalistic ambience, but, in general, it is a cold, hard world these characters inhabit. 

 

North of the Thames, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, similarly corrupt cardinals murder a pope.  The Last Confession tells how members of the Roman curia seek at every opportunity to thwart the liberal new pope John Paul I (the former Albino Luciani), as told by the man who arranged his election—Cardinal Benelli played by the superlative David Suchet.  It is Benelli’s confession that the title refers to, and, in the course of it, we learn how he was almost pope himself twice.  But the first time he promoted Luciani, the gentle primate of Venice, and, after Luciani’s death thirty three days later, he was unable to marshal a sufficient majority to become elected himself.  Neither was his opponent, so a compromise candidate was elected—the first non-Italian pope in centuries (who doesn’t come off very well in this story at all).  It is a fascinating play with a very strong cast.  The author, a New York-based lawyer, is attempting to fend off copyright infringement charges in this country, and, once he does, a Broadway production will follow.

 

The two plays show how power corrupts even those who, under the cloak of spiritually, have supposedly sworn to help others.  Even across the centuries, some things never change. 

 

·         Jeff Dailey holds a PhD in theatre from New York University. He has published studies of Beowulf, medieval theatre, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Eugene O'Neill. He is currently Associate Professor of Theatre and Education at Five Towns College in Dix Hills, NY, as well as Director of Fine and Performing Arts for the Deer Park School District. He is also the artistic director of The Marlowe Project, a New York City-based theatre company devoted to early English theatre, especially that of Christopher Marlowe.

 

National Theatre 2

Almost the entire collection of National Theatre posters are now available to view and buy on a dedicated website

www.ntposters.org.uk

 

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Michael Friend's touring production of Mrs. Warren's Profession appeared at the following places on the following dates:

 

20th September                  Middlesbrough Theatre, Teeside
 
22nd September                 Vera Fletcher Hall, Thames Ditton, London
 
4th and 5th October           Mill Studio, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey
 
10th and 11th October       Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire
 
13th and 14th October       Memorial Theatre, Broadstairs, Kent
 
19th and 20th October       Opera House, Buxton, Derbyshire

 



 

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