Tuesday December 12th 2017

“Being Shakespeare”

Recommended*** There are few stage actors who have the ability to stage a one man show where they do portions of another’s works in order to take us into the life of the character they are teaching us about. While this may seem a bit confusing, it is truly hard to describe what is currently onstage at the Broadway Playhouse ( the former Drury Lane at Water Tower Place), being presented by Chicago Shakespeare Theater as part of it’s “World Stage presentation series.

What we have on this very intimate stage, is Simon Callow, a celebrated British film and stage actor, who has a love affair with William Shakespeare, right before our very eyes. This is not a normal “love affair” of man versus man, but rather a love affair between playwright and performer. Callow takes us on a history lesson of sorts, taking us through the 7 stages of Shakespeare’s life through his own words and Callow’s love of the Bard’s plays. This little “tour de force” written by noted Shakespeare historian, Jonathan Bates and staged by Tom Cairns on the small stage of The Broadway Playhouse on a very simple set with dark lighting ( for mood purposes) and just a few props, this is roughly two hours of pure acting skill tied in with a history lesson about one of the most notable playwrights of all times, one’s whose works will still be performed and read in the centuries to come and will never lose the flavor of what was written.

In this stunning production, we, the audience, see the love Callow has for these works as he explores the life of this man woven with his own words along with those written by Bate.Many of us know his characters;Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet,King Lear and many more, but have little background as to where they came from and why the stories were even put to paper, let alone, placed on stages. These are some of the things that we learn from this production and Callow’s heartfelt way of bringing these facts to our attention is in itself special. This is Shakespeare being brought to us by a great admirer seeped with scholarship, love and humanity. This is not a production that will appeal to everyone, but those who are enamored with “The Bard” should find a way to get to see this one.

The production will only be in Chicago until April 29th, at The Broadway Playhouse, located at 175 E. Chestnut Street ( Water Tower Place) in Chicago . To check the schedule, visit www.chicagoshakes.com or www.broadwayinchicago.com You can also purchase your tickets on either of these sites or by calling 1-800-775-2000. Tickets range from $45-$75; not bad for a theatrical and educational experience that will stay with you.

SPECIAL NOTE- Monday, April 23rd, Shakespeare’s birthday will be celebrated with a performance ( most theaters are dark on Monday nights) so check the internet for this info for this special event.

 

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