- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Review: Bard comically humanized off-Broadway
NEW YORK (AP) - A good one-man show leaves the audience wanting more, which is exactly what happens with James DeVita’s satisfactory piece, “In Acting Shakespeare.”
DeVita is an ingratiating host throughout his comical and expressive show, which opened Sunday night off-Broadway at The Pearl Theatre. He relates that attending a 1987 performance of Sir Ian McKellen’s solo show “Acting Shakespeare” transformed DeVita’s life, to the point where he eventually got permission from McKellen to create his own version, crediting John Langs as the original director.
Since seeing McKellen, DeVita says he’s spent the past 25 years trying to learn to “make Shakespeare’s language actually sound like a person talking.” In his words, “I wanted to be kind of like the Gene Kelly of Shakespeare,” which he explains as “a regular guy who just happened to speak poetry.” Genially and sometimes ruefully, he recounts his insecurities and difficulties with acting.
More than credibly performing parts of famous Shakespearean speeches, and discussing some of the great actors who’ve done so, DeVita also relates or enacts seminal events in his own and Shakespeare’s lives.
Starting with his own three attempts to stay in college and his early career cleaning fish on a Long Island charter boat, he goes on to imagine how young country boy William might have seen his first theater troupe, and how later on he might have argued with his father about leaving the family wool shop and going off to London to be a playwright and actor.
To illustrate his points, DeVita briefly impersonates a number of people, from his own frustrated acting teachers to larger-than-life theatrical figures. One hilarious bit has famed Elizabethan actor Richard Burbage castigating his friend Will for inventing confusing words in “Hamlet.” DeVita says that Shakespeare added more than 2,000 words to the English language, “600 in Hamlet alone.” That could explain what Burbage was yelling about.
By sharing insights and humor from his never-ending journey toward honesty and understanding in performing the glorious language of Shakespeare, DeVita shines a light for all of us on The Bard’s articulation of “the things we feel in our hearts but can’t always express.”
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- 'Blarney Blowout' near UMass results in 73 arrests; 4 officers injured
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Vietnam says it may have found door of missing Malaysian jet as intel look into stolen passports
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CPAC 2014 straw poll results
- Obama engages in Ukraine diplomacy from Fla. resort as Russia digs in
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again