Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bill Irwin Makes It into A Shakespeare Play About…DSK?


Not many modern stars find their names in a Shakespeare play. It’s usually Henry the fourth and Richard the third. But last night Broadway and film star Bill Irwin got a surprise when he heard not only his name but a shout out during the opening night performance of “Measure for Measure” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. During a monologue in the second act of this terrific production, actor Carson Elrod–playing the clown, Pompey–strolled through the audience tossing out names of people he supposedly recognized. When he spotted Irwin–famous for his work in “Fool Moon” and dramatic work in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf”– Elrod exclaimed, “Bill Irwin! The world’s greatest living clown!” Irwin was shocked since he doesn’t know Elrod.

“Measure for Measure” only plays for the month of July. It also features brilliant work by John Cullum (“Northern Exposure”), Reg Rogers (“The Royal Family”), Lorenzo Pisano, Dakin Matthews, and Danai Gurira, as well as two fine actresses who cut their teeth on soaps–are you listening, networks?–Tonya Pinkins (“All My Children”) and Annie Parrisse (“As the World Turns”)…”Measure for Measure,” by the way, is pretty modern for a play written in 1604. It’s all about sex–lots of non-marital relations occur–and the main antagonist, Angelo (beautifully done by Michael Hayden)– is sort of a Shakespearean version of our currently accused Dominique Strauss Kahn

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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