- San Antonio mayor to Obama: Give amnesty to illegals with legal families
- NYPD disbands unit that spied on Muslims to go after ‘real bad guys’
- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
Bugs, rain and magic _ Shakespeare in the Park
NEW YORK (AP) - Liev Schreiber will never forget the beautiful white bird that showed up mysteriously during a performance of “Othello.”
It was the summer of 1991 and he was in the seats of the outdoor Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, watching Raul Julia in the title role. He remembers seeing an egret or a crane appear a few minutes after Desdemona’s death scene, its long wings flapping slowly into the dusk.
It was, Schreiber says, one of his all-time “seminal theatrical moments.”
“You couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was one of those moments where you thought magic was really occurring onstage,” says the actor, who found himself four summers later on the very same stage, making his park debut in “The Tempest.”
Addicted, he returned in 1998 for a production of “Cymbeline,” then as Iago in his own production of “Othello” in 2001, and then the lead kings in both “Henry V” in 2003 and “Macbeth” in 2006.
While that white bird never reappeared, another creature has grown fond of the actor over the years. “I am haunted by a very, very rude raccoon who, every time I do a play at the Delacorte, likes to come onstage with me,” he says with a laugh.
“I can’t imagine life without the Delacorte. I really can’t.”
He’s not alone.
`THE HAPPIEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE’
This summer, The Public Theater is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Delacorte, home of its free Shakespeare in the Park program _ a beloved staple for both actors and audience. It’s the place where you can hear a line like “My stars shine darkly over me,” delivered by an actor by moonlight.
The Delacorte opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962, with “The Merchant of Venice” starring George C. Scott. Since then, there have been more than 150 productions, usually two each summer, featuring stars such as James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Anne Hathaway. More than 5 million people have attended over the five decades.
The actors and the crowds keep coming back, despite rain, mosquitoes, pesky raccoons, car alarms or even low-flying planes. There is something magical about it all. Oskar Eustis, the Public Theater’s artistic director, thinks he knows what that is.
“Those bugs and those helicopters, as annoying as they are, are actually making a statement: Theater isn’t supposed to be cut off from life,” he says. “Theater is supposed to be at the center of the city. It’s not supposed to be in a dead, quiet cloistered little hall where the city doesn’t get into.”
The Public’s original mission for the Delacorte _ to reach people who don’t know they want to see Shakespeare _ has been wildly successful. Too much so, given the crowds that descend on the theater.
“At the beginning, that was at the core: Surprise people by Shakespeare’s power and relevance to their lives,” says Eustis. “Now, of course, you have to be firmly convinced of that to wait in line for 12 hours.”
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- Al Qaeda mocks U.S. in 'extraordinary' Yemen gathering; experts fear CIA caught flat-footed
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
- Bill Clinton falls off vegan diet wagon but not vegan label
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes