Three star-octane Shakespeares will be treading the Broadway boards this fall as Mark Rylance brings his critically acclaimed all-male productions of Richard III and Twelfth Night for a repertory run at the Belasco Theatre while Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad play the titular characters of Romeo and Juliet at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.
Rylance's Richard III (in which he plays the title character) and Twelfth Night (in which he plays Olivia) began as productions at Shakespeare's Globe in London last summer and proved so popular they moved to London's West End for limited runs. They will run in repertory for a 16-week limited engagement beginning Oct. 15.
These classics are presented in the custom of how Shakespeare's plays were originally staged, with an all-male company playing male and female roles; actors participating in the preshow ritual of dressing and preparing their make-up on stage, in front of the audience; music played live on traditional instruments; and lighting created almost exclusively by 100 on-stage candles, adding to the intimate and authentic atmosphere.
Even with his Shakespeare-rich résumé and winning two Tony Awards (for Jerusalem and Boeing-Boeing), this is the first time Rylance will be playing Shakespeare on Broadway. He is joined in the cast by Golden Globe nominee Stephen Fry and Tony Award nominee Samuel Barnett. Tim Carroll directs.
The Broadway version of Romeo and Juliet, from the director David Leveaux, will showcase Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers as an interracial couple. Bloom, who made his London stage debut in 2007 after a film breakthrough in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, will play Romeo. Rashad, a Tony nominee for “Stick Fly” and about to open in “The Trip to Bountiful,” will be Juliet. The play begins previews Aug. 24 and will open Sept. 19.
June 10, 2013