30 Days of Shakespeare: One Reading of the Bard Per Day, by The New York Public Library, on the 400th Anniversary of His Death

≡ Category: Literature, Poetry, Theatre |Leave a Comment

April 23 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, an event so far in the past that it can be celebrated as a second birthday of sorts.
The New York Public Library’s contribution to the festivities has an endearingly homemade quality.

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Hear Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest Performed by Sir John Gielgud & Other Legends (1953)

≡ Category: Theatre |Leave a Comment

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We here at Open Culture hardly have to tell you that, when a play often called the wittiest comedy in the English language meets the English actor often called the greatest of his generation, you won’t want to miss the resulting performance.

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Samuel Beckett Play Brought to Life in an Eerie Short Film Starring Alan Rickman & Kristin Scott Thomas

≡ Category: Film, Theatre |Leave a Comment

Here at Open Culture, when we think of authors who write work made for the movies, we do, of course, think of names like Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling, and Robert Ludlum — but even more so of names like Samuel Beckett, whose pushing of aesthetic and intellectual boundaries on the stage we welcome now more than ever on the screen.

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Professional Pickpocket Apollo Robbins Explains the Art of Misdirection

≡ Category: Life, Psychology, TED Talks, Theatre |Leave a Comment

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You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two, boys 
You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two. 
Unlike the Artful Dodger and other light-fingered urchins brought to life by Charles Dickens and, more recently, composer Lionel Bart, professional pickpocket Apollo Robbins confines his practice to the stage.

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74 Ways Characters Die in Shakespeare’s Plays Shown in a Handy Infographic: From Snakebites to Lack of Sleep

≡ Category: Literature, Theatre |15 Comments

In the graduate department where I once taught freshmen and sophomores the rudiments of college English, it became common practice  to include Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus on many an Intro to Lit syllabus, along with a viewing of Julie Taymor’s flamboyant film adaptation.

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John Astin, From The Addams Family, Recites “The Raven” as Edgar Allan Poe

≡ Category: Literature, Poetry, Television, Theatre |7 Comments

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How fitting that the head of The Addams Family would harbor a lifelong obsession with author Edgar Allan Poe.
In the spirit of full disclosure, we should clarify that the true Poe fanboy is not the fictional Gomez Addams, but rather the first actor to bring the character to life, John Astin, of television fame.

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Muhammad Ali Sings in Broadway’s First Black Power Musical (1970)

≡ Category: History, Politics, Sports, Television, Theatre |Leave a Comment

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The Great White Way is littered with flops.
Critic Frank Rich eviscerated a 1988 musical based on Stephen King’s Carrie, lamenting that a potential camp masterpiece wound up as “a typical musical-theater botch.

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How Marcel Marceau Started Miming to Save Children from the Holocaust

≡ Category: History, Theatre |1 Comment

Earlier this month, we featured Marcel Marceau, surely the most famous mime ever to live, performing the progression of human life, from birth to death, in four minutes. In the video above, you can watch him using his hands to act out something equally elemental: the battle between good and evil.

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Google Gives You a 360° View of the Performing Arts, From the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Paris Opera Ballet

≡ Category: Dance, Google, Music, Theatre |Leave a Comment

We’ve long been able to read books online. More recently, the internet has also become a favored distribution system for movies, and certainly we’ve all heard more than enough about the effects of downloading and streaming on the music industry.

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