The piece is conceived and adapted by York, whose inspiration was John Gielgud's stage show, The Ages of Man. According to the announcement, York pondered: "Why not an Ages of Women? Passionate women, comic women. Subtle, savage, submissive or scheming women. Young, old, jovial, grieving women...I suddenly saw that love itself strings all of these women together, from Juliet to Mistress Ford, Viola to Constance and Isabella to Gertrude and from Portia to Cleopatra. Love in its many natures and objects. Romantic love, yes. And family love — love for your master, for your mistress, for your comrade, your country. Love of power, of God, of fun, of an abstract ideal — returned love, misplaced love, unrequited love and love that turns awry..."
The plays and sonnets are explored. "My goal is to reclaim the genius of Shakespeare's words for a new generation of theatergoers," York said.
Following each performance York will autograph copies of a companion book to the show, "Susannah York's The Loves of Shakespeare's Women."
York's career includes such films as "Tunes of Glory" (opposite Sir Alec Guinness); the Academy Award-winning Best Pictures "Tom Jones" and "A Man for All Seasons"; "The Killing of Sister George"; "Oh! What a Lovely War"; "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" for which she received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress; "Freud" (Best Actress Golden Globe nomination); "Jane Eyre"; "Happy Birthday, Wanda June"; "The Maids"; "Superman" (in which he played the title character's Kryptonian mother) and its sequel. She was the winner of the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1972, for her performance as a schizophrenic woman whose hallucinations turn deadly in Robert Altman's "Images."
In the theatre in London she has appeared in Wings of a Dove, A Singular Man, A Cheap Bunch of Nice Flowers, September Tide, The Apple Cart, Fatal Attraction and the fringe play, The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs.. In New York she performed in Hedda Gabler (at the Roundabout); and in Dublin she co-starred with Peter O'Toole in Man and Superman.
Her most recent UK stage appearances have been with the RSC in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Hamlet and Camino Real in Stratford and London; independent productions of An Ideal Husband and Small Craft Warnings in London; and a national tour of David Hare's Amy's View. She has also adapted several one-woman shows including Picasso's Women, The Human Voice and Independent State.
In 2003, York performed The Loves of Shakespeare's Women at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in London.
The show is presented by The Federal Bureau of Entertainment (Joseph S. Ajlouny, director) a theatrical producing entity (www.the-feds.com) based in Michigan, focusing on high quality solo shows.
Tickets are $25. Blue Heron is at 123 E. 24th Street between Park and Lexington. The full performance schedule will be Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 PM, and matinee performances on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM. The performances on Wednesday, Aug. 25 at 8 PM and Sunday, Aug. 29 at 2 PM will be signed for the hearing impaired and there will be "talk-backs" following the two Wednesday matinees (Aug. 18 and 25) and the Tuesday evening performance, Aug. 24.
Tickets are available through Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or www.smarttix.com.