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3 items from 2009


Free Flick of the Day: The Pirates of Penzance

2 December 2009 1:39 PM, PST | Cinematical | See recent Cinematical news »

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

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Co-Stars Toast Jones

20 January 2009 12:59 AM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

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

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A Life in Full

20 January 2009 12:59 AM, PST | backstage.com | See recent Backstage news »

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

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3 items from 2009


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