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Hofstra's 63rd Shakespeare Festival

By Bernie Krumm, Staff Writer


This semester, Hofstra's 63rd annual Shakespeare festival presents its production of Much Ado about Nothing; one of Shakespeare's best known and most celebrated comedies. The plot revolves around the machinations of two brothers; Don Pedro and Don John. While Don Pedro attempts to make an unlikely match of two people who hate each other, Don John sets out to ruin another couple's relationship. The play pokes fun at and makes light of romantic relationships and features outlandish and colorful characters who engage in trickery to manipulate those around them. The main cast includes James Crichton and Tyler Pardini, both of whom gave terrifically funny performances in last semester's productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and The Marriage of Bette and Boo respectively. The production premieres March 1st at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse and will be directed by Jean Giebel.



This year's original adaptation of a Shakespeare play will be Hamlet: a Bare Bodkin, a one hour adaptation of Hamlet adapted and directed by Ed Elefterion. The plot of Hamlet revolves around the Danish Prince Hamlet, who battles his inner demons (including possible insanity) and the characters around him to avenge his father's murder. Arguably Shakespeare's best known and most celebrated work, Hamlet has inspired many debates among scholars as well as many different interpretations. One adaptation of Hamlet is never quite like any other, so you may learn something you've never known about the renowned play or the equally renowned central character. Cast members include Christian Titus (who plays Hamlet) and Chris Wentworth, who both gave stand out performances in last years Shakespeare festival's production of The War of the Roses. There are only going to be two performances at Hofstra, which will be March 3rd and 10th at the John Cranford Adams Playhouse.



Rounding out the season will be the Drama Departments production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, a Pulitzer Prize winning play written by Tennessee Williams. One of the most influential and acclaimed playwrights of the 20th Century, Williams' other known works include The Glass Menagerie (1944) andA Streetcar Named Desire (1948). The play revolves around members of a rich southern family and their struggle to inherit the estate of the family patriarch who, unbeknownst to him, is dying of cancer. However, the major element of the play is the deteriorating marriage of Brick, an alcoholic former athlete, and Maggie, an attractive yet manipulative woman who is attempting to secure her husbands share of his fathers estate. The play, which debuted on Broadway in 1955, was highly controversial due to its profane and overtly sexual nature. Here we see themes of deceit, human sexuality and mortality skillfully mixed in with the dynamic of a family who are fighting over money while constantly being dishonest. All in all, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is a compelling drama that is today celebrated as one of Williams' finest works. Main cast includes John Ball, Ian Poake and Eliza Hill, all of whom have given exceptional performances in past productions such as The Importance of Being Earnest and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. The production premieres March 23 at the Black Box Theatre and will be directed by James J. Kolb.

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