THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT -- June 1998
HARE-SPLITTING: Between the David Hare play he imported this season (The Judas Kiss) and the one he will import next season (Amy's View), director Richard Eyre will be making his movie debut the hard way: helming the long-passed-over Friederich von Schiller play, Mary Stuart. Meryl Streep just turned down the title role, but Tony winner Glenn Close has agreed to portray Mary's regal nemesis, Queen Elizabeth I. You may recall that she played Elizabeth's older sister, Princess (later Queen) Mary, in Richard Rodgers' 1975 musical Rex. Lensing for Mary Stuart begins in September in England. . . . Another director represented on Broadway this season (albeit, unofficially, via High Society) has also turned film director on us: Des McAnuff and he couldn't have gotten farther away from his Broadway work (The Who's Tommy, Big River, How To Succeed...) if he had tried: He's debuting with another cinematically overlooked masterpiece, Honore de Balzac's Cousin Bette (for whom Bette Davis was named). Jessica Lange has the title role, a theatrical costume designer in early nineteenth-century Paris. . . . There is a secret link that connects Close's Good Queen Bess and Lange's Cousin Bette - hair: Both actresses have written into their standard contracts that their wigs must be made by the specialist they discovered on Broadway: Paul Huntley.
BARD-NOBBING: If you think there has been a burst of The Bard lately on the New York scene -- Twelfth Night at Lincoln Center, two Romeo and Juliet sightings on 42nd Street (the all-male version is still running), Alec Baldwin's Macbeth at The Public, the British invasion of BAM with Othello, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry VIII, Cymbeline and Hamlet, et. al -- then you ought to check your local bookstore. A whole lot of Shakespeare is going on there, too: Lynda E. Boose and Richard Burt's Shakespeare the Movie: Popularizing the Plays on Film, TV, and Video (from Routledge) and Anthony Davies and Stanley Wells's Shakespeare and the Moving Image: The Plays on Film and Television (from Cambridge University Press) charge across essentially the same turf, but each provides a fresh fascination of its own. And Barry Day's This Wooden 'O': Shakespeare's Globe Reborn/ Achieving an American's Dream (from Limelight Editions) chronicles the dream of the late Sam Wanamaker, the American actor-director, to rebuild the Globe where The Bard premiered his works.
BOY MEETS GIRL?: Hope Davis of The Food Chain, Phil Hoffman of Defying Gravity, Roger Rees of Nicholas Nickleby, Robert Klein of The Sisters Rosensweig and Holland Taylor of Breakfast With Les and Bess are among the New York stage actors aboard Next Stop, Wonderland, a charming Boston-based romanticomedy by Brad Anderson in which Boy almost doesn't meet Girl. -- By Harry Haun