Shakespeare in the Park: Richard III

Sunday night, I had another drawing outing with friends to see the New York Classical Theatre's production of Richard III. This event had many things to recommend itself to us, chief among them that it's free (!), that it's outside in gorgeous Central Park, and that it's Shakespeare. As a New Yorker, summer to me means Shakespeare in the Park, but I'm tired of the Public Theater's productions at the Delacorte Theater, where you wait in that giant line to see the latest Hollywood defector try their hand at mangling the Bard (here's lookin' at you, Julia Stiles. But I don't mean you, Jamey Sheridan! You, I totally heart). Last time, I got in line at 3 am (yes, in the morning!) only to *not* get a ticket! Outrageous! I shook my fist at Joe Papp and said never again! The NYCT's production is outdoors for reals, as in, no amphitheater, no seats, no concessions, no line to wait in. There are no biggie stars, but I like that better, 'cause then, in my mind, that actor can completely be villainous King Richard III. The actors are good (and are good at projecting), and for fun, the action and the audience picks up and moves every 10 minutes or so. It can be a little distracting, but it can also be a little fun.

It was a mild, balmy June late afternoon, and you could barely hear the car horns of Central Park West, when Richard made his power-grab.

I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them -
Why I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.

The Queen and Buckingham making up, though not for real, and not for long.

Richard slaughters pretty much his entire family, but comes off with the big prize.

And he'd have gotten away with it, if it weren't for those pesky ghosts. And Richmond.