Los Angeles, CA – On April 25, 2014, an extraordinary group of 19 leading actors will perform sonnets, readings and songs to celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica. “The cast are some of the best actors for tragedy, comedy, history, pastoral, pastoral–comical, tragical–comical–historical–pastoral and scene invisible’ as Shakespeare himself would say,” noted Louis Fantasia, Shakespeare director and scholar.
Britweek’s Evening of Shakespeare, Music and Love is presented by Beverly Hills Wealth Management, with a portion of the proceeds supporting the Hobart Elementary Shakespeareans and the Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble, two outstanding LA based Shakespeare programs. Aston Martin will sponsor the VIP after party at the Moss Theater.
The evening is co–hosted by performers Dana Delany and Ioan Gruffudd. The cast of actors in the 90-minute production are: Ashley Bell, Eric Braeden, Claudia Christian, Nigel Daly, Neil Dickson, Joely Fisher, Mira Furlan, Judy Geeson, Michele Greene, Harry Hamlin, Malcolm MacDowell, David Melville, Jane Seymour, Joan Van Ark, Sophie Winkleman, Robert Wisdom and Michael York.
“Shakespeare is the voice of human experience,” according to actor Malcolm MacDowell, who will recite lines from The Tempest. “There is no emotion that any of us has felt — anger, love, joy, pain, loss — that Shakespeare hasn’t written about. That’s what makes him so human.”
“Who knows more about love than Shakespeare?” says Dana Delany. “Just look at all those lovers — Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, Othello and Desdemona, or the love triangle in the Sonnets. He didn’t miss a trick. From infatuation to heartbreak to revenge, it’s all there.”
“People underestimate Shakespeare’s impact on music,” says Fantasia, “not only are his plays full of songs and his plays used as the basis for dozens of operas, composers from classical to jazz have set his words to music.” Martin Neary, once organist and master of the Choristers at Westminster Abbey, will direct the Millennium Consort Singers in Renaissance, Elizabethan and modern choral masterpieces based on Shakespeare’s texts. Jazz artists Sherry Williams will sing classics from composer John Dankworth’s Shakespeare’s Songbook, composed for his wife, the late Cleo Lane.
“BritWeek celebrates creativity and innovation and no-one in history was more creative and innovative than Shakespeare,” says BritWeek Chairman Bob Peirce. “His plays and sonnets are as alive and new as they were in his lifetime. Thousands of his words and phrases form a huge part of the English language today. And of course he was a great romantic!”
Since its foundation in 2007, BritWeek has grown into a program with over 40 events each spring in Los Angeles, when a creative connection between the UK and LA attracts thousands of people for two weeks. Now a fixture on the LA calendar, the variety of events say as much about this great city as it does about the Brits who come here to live, work and play.
Tickets and VIP package for “An Evening of Shakespeare, Music and Love” are on sale at www.britweek.org.
BritWeek is a non-profit organization, started in Los Angeles in 2007 by Nigel Lythgoe and the then Consul General Bob Peirce, to highlight the creative fusion between the United Kingdom and California, and now Miami. In March 2013, we officially launched BritWeek Visits Miami!
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For press contact: Caroline Graham, C4 Global Communications
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