4 items from 2009
Forget Pirates of the Caribbean. Forget musicals like My Fair Lady. My favorite swashbucklers don't have an Aerosmith swagger or terrible speech troubles. They hold their own against the very model of a modern major general. In 1980, theatrical producer and creator of the New York Shakespeare Festival Joseph Papp brought Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance to the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park. It was so popular that it ended up making its way to Broadway, won a bunch of Tony Awards, sailed away to London, and then got turned into the film in 1983.
The movie starred Kevin Kline, Rex Smith, Linda Ronstadt, and Angela Lansbury, and detailed the life of Frederic (Smith), a boy who was supposed to become a pilot, until his hard-of-hearing nurse (Lansbury) misheard her instructions and apprenticed the kid to a pirate (Kline). On his 21st birthday, he's finally released, and soon falls for »
- Monika Bartyzel
Last night in New York, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding awarded rapper LL Cool J with the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award. Named after Joseph Papirofsky, who produced theater productions, the group feels the rapper has contributed to the Jewish community. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding hosted its 20th anniversary and honoring party hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons' home. Simmons is co-chair of the foundation along with founder Rabbi Marc Schneier. The organization promotes black-Jewish and Muslim-Jewish relations. "LL has long history of social and political activism," Simmons told AllHipHop.com. "He is one person who is not recognized enough for his gifts. I'm very happy to have honored him for his many contributions."
"I've never had an opportunity to thank the Jewish community for what they've done for me," LL Cool J told Jewish media outlet Jta.org upon receiving the award. He also said if it weren't for several prominent music industry Jews, »
Back Stage asked some of James Earl Jones' co-stars to share their memories of working with the legendary actor. Their responses -- ranging from words of praise and anecdotes to a genuine original poem -- are presented here, with gratitude to these generous stars in their own rights."Working with James Earl Jones in Of Mice and Men was a master class in acting. He was absolutely brilliant and generous, and I cherish it. He bent over backwards to give me the moments I needed in the scenes we shared. My work in that play is one of the things I'm most proud of. And that's largely because of him." -- Kevin Conway"Working with Jimmy was a total delight. The play, A Lesson From Aloes, was so demanding. We'd go out on a limb together, and no matter what I tried, I knew he'd be there to catch me. »
- Jenelle Riley
James Earl Jones is apologizing for running late. Calling from his upstate New York home, he explains that he was outside shoveling ice when he remembered he had an interview. "The trees are frozen solid," he says. "I can hear the limbs snap." That booming basso profundo, the gravitas he gives to each sentence, the way he accentuates the word snap -- you can almost feel the freezing wind. Without even trying, Jones is speaking poetry.Of course, the actor, who turns 78 on Jan. 17, is known for being much more than just a pretty voice. In more than 50 years in the theatre, he has tackled such classic roles as Othello and King Lear and created indelible characters like prizefighter Jack Jefferson in Howard Sackler's Pulitzer Prize–winning play The Great White Hope. His work in films ranging from the classic (Field of Dreams, as the voice of Darth Vader »
- Jenelle Riley
4 items from 2009
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