The all-male Shakespeare’s Globe repertory productions of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Richard III broke the house record of Broadway’s Belasco Theatre for the week ending December 1, 2013. The productions, which opened Sunday, November 10 on Broadway to ecstatic and universal critical praise, grossed $826,486.50, breaking a house record set by Julius Caesar ($754,296.98 for the week ending 6/12/05). Twelfth Night and Richard III have an access policy whereby 250 seats a performance – 2000 seats a week in the orchestra, mezzanine, balcony, boxes and on stage – are sold for $25, making the house record figure especially noteworthy.
Twelfth Night and Richard III, which are directed by Tim Carroll and designed by Jenny Tiramani, with music by Claire van Kampen, play a limited engagement through February 2, 2014 at the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street). For a schedule of performances and more information, please visit www.shakespearebroadway.com.
Mark Rylance (Jerusalem, Boeing-Boeing) stars as the suddenly love struck noblewoman Olivia in Twelfth Night and as the ruthless and conniving title monarch in Richard III. Stephen Fry makes his Broadway acting debut as Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Samuel Barnett (The History Boys) appears as Viola in Twelfth Night and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III.
The productions also feature Liam Brennan (Orsino in Twelfth Night; Clarence/Lord Mayor in Richard III); Paul Chahidi (a 2013 Olivier Award nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Maria in Twelfth Night; Hastings/ Tyrrell in Richard III); John Paul Connolly (Antonio in Twelfth Night; 1st Murderer/ Cardinal/Ratcliff/Halberdier in Richard III); Peter Hamilton Dyer (Feste in Twelfth Night; Brakenbury/Catesby in Richard III); Kurt Egyiawan (Valentine in Twelfth Night; Richmond/Duchess of York in Richard III); Matt Harrington (Curio/Officer/Olivia’s Servant in Twelfth Night; Dorset/Bishop of Ely/Guard in Richard III); Colin Hurley (Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night; King Edward IV/Stanley in Richard III); Terry McGinity (Sea Captain/Priest in Twelfth Night; Scrivener/Rivers/Blunt in Richard III); Matthew Schechter (Prince Edward in Richard III); Hayden Signoretti (Duke of York in Richard III); Jethro Skinner (Fabian in Twelfth Night; 2nd Murderer/Messenger/Halberdier in Richard III); Joseph Timms (Sebastian in Twelfth Night; Lady Anne/Grey in Richard III) and Angus Wright (Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night; Duke of Buckingham in Richard III). Understudies are Dominic Brewer, Dylan Clark Marshall and Tony Ward.
ON STAGE SEATING
The Broadway productions also offer several rows of on-stage seating. Theatergoers who choose the on-stage seating will have an up close and personal experience with the productions, including close proximity to the pre-show ritual of actors getting dressed on stage.
250 seats at every performance are set aside to be sold for $25. These seats include the balcony, as well as selected seats in the orchestra, mezzanine, boxes and on stage. Over 20,000 $25 tickets will be made available throughout the run.
Twelfth Night and Richard III are both presented with an all-male company playing both male and female roles, as the plays were originally staged in Shakespeare’s day. The productions are filled with music, played live by seven musicians on traditional Elizabethan instruments in a gallery above the stage, and are lit almost exclusively by the glow of 100 on-stage candles. Entering the theatre, audiences will also witness the pre-show ritual of actors dressing and preparing their make-up on stage.
The plays, which will mark the Broadway debut for London’s world-famous Shakespeare’s Globe, are staged in repertory, with six performances of Twelfth Night and two performances of Richard III a week, with the opportunity to see the two productions in one day on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Outrageous high comedy ensues as the pangs of unrequited love affect the unforgettable characters of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. While the lovelorn Duke Orsino plots to win the heart of the mourning Olivia (Mark Rylance), an alliance of servants and hangers-on scheme against the high handedness of Olivia’s steward, the pompous Malvolio (Stephen Fry). When Orsino engages the cross-dressed Viola (Samuel Barnett), who has disguised herself as a young man under the name Cesario, to plead with Olivia on his behalf, a bittersweet and hilarious chain of events follows.
Richard Duke of Gloucester (Mark Rylance) is determined that he should wear the crown of England. He has already dispatched one king and that king’s son; now all that stands in his way are two credulous brothers and two helpless nephews – the Princes in the Tower. And woe betide those – the women he wrongs, the henchmen he betrays – who dare to raise a voice against him. Monstrous, but theatrically electric, Richard is Shakespeare’s most charismatic, self-delighting villain, reveling at every moment in his homicidal, hypocritical journey to absolute power.
Founded by the pioneering American actor and director Sam Wanamaker, Shakespeare’s Globe is a vibrant organization and reconstructed open-air theatre on the banks of the River Thames dedicated to the exploration of Shakespearean, Elizabethan, Jacobean, and contemporary theatre. Through an ambitious and lively theatre season, a dynamic and varied education program and a rich and interesting exhibition, the Globe has become a significant part of the national and international theatre landscape. Under the Globe’s first artistic director, Mark Rylance, and now its second, Dominic Dromgoole, the theatre has worked its way through Shakespeare’s canon, providing a huge wealth of insight into each play when it is produced afresh within the architecture for which Shakespeare originally wrote. The Globe has always been an international story, having been built by an American; welcoming international audiences into its oak embrace throughout its life and taking its work back out into the world including many theatre tours and workshops in the US. In January 2014, Shakespeare’s Globe will present the first season of plays in its newly constructed Sam Wanamaker Playhouse – a Jacobean archetype of an early indoor theatre, completely unique amongst London venues and enabling Shakespeare’s Globe to present theatre productions all year round.
Twelfth Night and Richard III have been produced on Broadway by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Glass Half Full Productions/Just For Laughs Theatricals, 1001 Nights Productions, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Jane Bergère, Paula Marie Black, Rupert Gavin, Stephanie P. McClelland, Shakespeare’s Globe Centre USA, Max Cooper, Tanya Link Productions and Shakespeare Road.
Tickets are on sale through www.telecharge.com.
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