Theater Notebook: Old Globe announces dates for ‘Hamlet: On the Radio’
This week’s San Diego theater column includes news on Theatre Week, Cygnet Theatre and New Village Arts
The Old Globe has announced the cast, air dates and surround events for its free upcoming audio production of “Hamlet: On the Radio,” which will debut April 23 on KPBS Radio 89.5 FM.
Last month, the Globe unveiled its hybrid 2021 season that will mix scheduled online productions with planned but not date-specific live productions that will hopefully resume next fall. One of the most high-profile projects is a revival of the company’s 2017 outdoor production of William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” being produced with partner KPBS Radio. Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein directed the acclaimed production that starred Grantham Coleman, star of TV’s “The Americans,” and a multiracial cast.
The radio adaptation, which is being recorded live via Zoom, will reteam Coleman with virtually all of the 2017 cast, including Cornell Womack as King Claudius, Opal Alladin as Queen Gertrude, Talisa Friedman as Ophelia, Jon Orsini as Laertes and Patrick Kerr as Polonius.
The play will be presented in two parts and audiences can choose whether to listen to them over two consecutive evenings or altogether in one afternoon. The two-evening runs are 7 p.m. April 23 and 24 and 7 p.m. June 18 and 19. The dates featuring both parts are 2 p.m. May 2 and 2 p.m. June 27. After that, they audio broadcasts will be available for at-will audio streaming on the Globe’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/user/theoldglobe and as downloadable podcasts via Apple and Spotify.
As a prelude to the performances, the Globe has scheduled several Shakespeare-themed virtual programs. Edelstein will present a series of video lectures on the evergreen qualities of Shakespeare’s plays on “Thinking Shakespeare Live: Infinite Book” at 6:30 p.m. March 4 and 18, and April 1 and 15 on the Globe’s YouTube channel. In March, the Globe will also host on its website, theoldglobe.org, a digital version of its 2016 “Shakespeare in San Diego” exhibition of original props, costumes, photos and ephemera from its 85-year archive.
Beginning March 11, Globe associate artistic director Justin Waldman will host a series of video interviews with the “Hamlet” production, including Coleman on March 11, sound designer Lindsay Jones on March 25; stage managers Anjee Nero and Leila Knox on April 8; actor Michel Genet on April 22 and Edelstein on April 29. They will be posted on the Globe’s YouTube channel.
And beginning at noon Monday, Globe literary manager and dramaturg Danielle Mages Amato returns with “On Book: The Old Globe’s Shakespeare Reading Group,” which this year will explore “Hamlet” through a series of interactive livestreamed online sessions with Shakespeare scholars and actors. Follow-up sessions are on March 5 and 29 and April 12 and 26. Details for all online programming can be found at theoldglobe.org.
Theatre Week transforms
San Diego Theatre Week, which has offered deeply discounted tickets to dozens of San Diego theater productions each February for the past five years, will return this year, but in a monthlong, virtual version that will be presented online May 1 through 31.
Produced by the San Diego Performing Arts League, the 2021 San Diego Theatre Month will offer streaming tickets priced at $15, $30 and $45 on the website sandiegotheatreweek.com, which will be updated with show information in the coming weeks.
“San Diegans bought more tickets in 2020 than they did in 2019,” said Jacole Kitchen, executive director of the Performing Arts League. “Some theaters sold out of their tickets before Theatre Week even started. With most of this year’s offerings being virtual, we’re excited to introduce even more San Diegans to their local performing arts organizations.”
Cygnet plans ‘Black Joy’ event
Cygnet Theatre is celebrating the final days of Black History Month this week with a celebration of Black culture called “The Love You Give: A Night of Black Joy.”
Hosted by Cygnet Artistic Associate Kian Kline-Chilton, the film streaming through Sunday features trivia questions about Black culture, music, food, family art, films and personal stories by Kline-Chilton and Bryan Barbarin, Ro Boddie, Monique Gaffney, Cashae Monya and Lamar Perry. Tickets are “pay what you can” and can be purchased at cygnettheatre.com.
New Village Arts hosts ‘Picasso’
Carlsbad’s New Village Arts Theatre is now streaming a filmed version of Herbert Siguenza’s play “A Weekend with Pablo Picasso” through March 15.
New Village presented Siguenza onstage in his “Picasso” play as part of its 2019 season. But the film it’s streaming was produced last year by San Diego Repertory Theatre, where the play made its world premiere in 2010. Last summer, original stage director Todd Salovey turned the stage play into a feature-length movie that was filmed in locations around San Diego.
Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at overture.plus/patron/new-village-arts.
Pam Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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