Monday, June 22, 2009

Phedre live

Emulating the Met and its popular operacasts, the UK's National Theatre has started NT Live, which kicks off here in the New York City area with live telecasts of Jean Racine's Phedre, as adapted by Ted Hughes and directed by Nicholas Hytner. Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper (one of Hytner's History Boys, recently seen in Mamma Mia!) star. Sounds like something worth getting off the couch for.

From the PR:

"In the New York City area, screenings can be seen at Film Society of Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Director’s Guild Theatre, Cinema Arts Centre, Fairfield University (CT), Monmouth University (NJ) & the Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC).

The broadcast will also be shown on screens across the United States including the Mann Theatre in Hollywood, the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis and many more.

The launch of NT Live is Thursday, June 25.

Broadcasts in the New York City area include:
●The Director’s Guild Theatre – Thursday, June 25 at 7:30pm
●Monmouth University, NJ – Thursday, June 25 at 7pm
●Brooklyn Academy of Music – Thursday, July 9 at 7pm
●Film Society of Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater – Monday, July 6 at 4pm and 8pm
●Fairfield University, CT – Saturday, July 11 at 2pm
●Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC) – Monday, June 29 & Monday, July 13 at 7:30pm
●Cinema Arts Centre (Long Island) – Friday, July 24 at 7:30pm

The press release says about Phedre (co-starring Margaret Tyzack): "Consumed by an uncontrollable passion for her young stepson and believing Theseus, her absent husband, to be dead, Phedre (Mirren) confesses her darkest desires and enters the world of nightmare. When Theseus returns, alive and well, Phedre, fearing exposure, accuses her stepson of rape. The result is carnage."

Coincidentally, I just saw Jules Dassin's 1962 take on the tale, a contemporized version featuring the toothsome Melina Mercouri and a miscast Anthony Perkins. An interesting try, prettily filmed in Greece, but this well-reviewed production should be more the thing.

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