Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist known for more than a half-century of contributions to musical theatre. Sondheim has received an Academy Award, eight Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, a Laurence Olivier Award, a 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom, he has been described by Frank Rich of The New York Times as "now the greatest and best-known artist in the American musical theater". His best-known works as composer and lyricist include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Follies, A Little Night Music, Pacific Overtures, Sweeney Todd, Merrily We Roll Along, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods and Passion, he wrote the lyrics for West Side Story and Gypsy. Sondheim has written film music, he wrote five songs for 1990's Dick Tracy, including "Sooner or Later," sung in the film by Madonna, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Sondheim was president of the Dramatists Guild from 1973 to 1981. To celebrate his 80th birthday, the former Henry Miller's Theatre was renamed the Stephen Sondheim Theatre on September 15, 2010, the BBC Proms held a concert in his honor.
Cameron Mackintosh has called Sondheim "possibly the greatest lyricist ever". Sondheim was born into a Jewish family in the son of Etta Janet and Herbert Sondheim, his father manufactured dresses designed by his mother. The composer grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and, after his parents divorced, on a farm near Doylestown, Pennsylvania; as the only child of well-to-do parents living in the San Remo on Central Park West, he was described in Meryle Secrest's biography as an isolated neglected child. When he lived in New York, Sondheim attended ECFS, the Ethical Culture Fieldston School known as "Fieldston", he attended the New York Military Academy and George School, a private Quaker preparatory school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he wrote his first musical, By George, from which he graduated in 1946. Sondheim spent several summers at Camp Androscoggin, he matriculated to Williams College and graduated in 1950. He traces his interest in theatre to Very Warm for May, a Broadway musical.
"The curtain went up and revealed a piano," Sondheim recalled. "A butler brushed it up, tinkling the keys. I thought, thrilling."When Sondheim was ten years old, his father had left his mother for another woman. Herbert was unsuccessful. Sondheim explained to biographer Secrest that he was "what they call an institutionalized child, meaning one who has no contact with any kind of family. You're in, though it's luxurious, you're in an environment that supplies you with everything but human contact. No brothers and sisters, no parents, yet plenty to eat, friends to play with and a warm bed, you know?" Sondheim detested his mother, said to be psychologically abusive and projected her anger from her failed marriage on her son: "When my father left her, she substituted me for him. And she used me the way she used him, to come on to and to berate, beat up on, you see. What she did for five years was treat me like dirt, but come on to me at the same time." She once wrote him a letter saying that the "only regret had was giving him birth".
When his mother died in the spring of 1992, Sondheim did not attend her funeral. He had been estranged from her for nearly 20 years; when Sondheim was about ten years old, he became friends with James Hammerstein, son of lyricist and playwright Oscar Hammerstein II. The elder Hammerstein became Sondheim's surrogate father, influencing him profoundly and developing his love of musical theatre. Sondheim met Hal Prince, who would direct many of his shows, at the opening of South Pacific, Hammerstein's musical with Richard Rodgers; the comic musical he wrote at George School, By George, was a success among his peers and buoyed the young songwriter's self-esteem. When Sondheim asked Hammerstein to evaluate it as though he had no knowledge of its author, he said it was the worst thing he had seen: "But if you want to know why it's terrible, I'll tell you." They spent the rest of the day going over the musical, Sondheim said, "In that afternoon I learned more about songwriting and the musical theater than most people learn in a lifetime."Hammerstein designed a course of sorts for Sondheim on constructing a musical.
He had the young composer write four musicals, each with one of the following conditions: Based on a play he admired Based on a play he liked but thought flawed. High Tor and Mary Poppins have never been produced: The rights holder for the original High Tor refused permission, Mary Poppins was unfinished. Sondheim began attending Williams College, a liberal arts college in Williamstown, Massachusetts whose theatre program attracted him, his first teacher there was Robert Barrow:... everybody hated him because he was dry, I thought he was
August Wilson was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each work in the series is set in a different decade, depicts comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century. Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel Jr. in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the fourth of six children. His father, Frederick August Kittel Sr. was a Sudeten German immigrant, a baker/pastry cook. His mother, Daisy Wilson, was an African-American woman from North Carolina who cleaned homes for a living. Wilson's anecdotal history reports that his maternal grandmother walked from North Carolina to Pennsylvania in search of a better life. Wilson's mother raised the children alone until he was five in a two-room apartment above a grocery store at 1727 Bedford Avenue. Wilson wrote under his mother's surname; the economically depressed neighborhood where he was raised was inhabited predominantly by black Americans and Jewish and Italian immigrants.
Wilson's mother divorced his father and married David Bedford in the 1950s, the family moved from the Hill District to the predominantly white working-class neighborhood of Hazelwood, where they encountered racial hostility. They were soon forced out on to their next home. In 1959, Wilson was one of fourteen African-American students at Central Catholic High School, from which he dropped out after one year, he attended Connelley Vocational High School, but found the curriculum unchallenging. He dropped out of Gladstone High School in the 10th grade in 1960 after his teacher accused him of plagiarizing a 20-page paper he wrote on Napoleon I of France. Wilson hid his decision from his mother. At the age of 16 he began working menial jobs, where he met a wide variety of people on whom some of his characters were based, such as Sam in The Janitor Wilson's extensive use of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh resulted in its "awarding" him an honorary high school diploma. Wilson, who said he had learned to read at the age of 4, began reading black writers at the library when he was 12 and spent the remainder of his teen years educating himself through the books of Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps, others.
Wilson knew that he wanted to be a writer, but this created tension with his mother, who wanted him to become a lawyer. She forced him to leave the family home and he enlisted in the United States Army for a three-year stint in 1962, but left after one year and went back to working various odd jobs as a porter, short-order cook and dishwasher. Frederick August Kittel Jr. changed his name to August Wilson to honor his mother after his father's death in 1965. That same year, he discovered the blues as sung by Bessie Smith, he bought a stolen typewriter for $10, which he pawned when money was tight. At 20, he submitted work to such magazines as Harper's, he began to write in bars, the local cigar store, cafes—longhand on table napkins and on yellow notepads, absorbing the voices and characters around him. He liked to write on cafe napkins because, he said, it freed him up and made him less self-conscious as a writer, he would gather the notes and type them up at home. Gifted with a talent for catching dialect and accents, Wilson had an "astonishing memory", which he put to full use during his career.
He learned not to censor the language he heard when incorporating it into his work. Malcolm X's voice influenced Wilson's work. Both the Nation of Islam and the Black Power spoke to him regarding self-sufficiency, self-defense, self-determination, he appreciated the origin myths that Elijah Muhammad supported. In 1969 Wilson married Brenda Burton, a Muslim, converted to Islam, he and Brenda had one daughter, Sakina Ansari-Wilson, divorced in 1972. In 1968, he co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in the Hill District of Pittsburgh along with his friend Rob Penny. Wilson's first play, was performed for audiences in small theaters and public housing community centers for 50 cents a ticket. Among these early efforts was Jitney, which he revised more than two decades as part of his 10-play cycle on 20th-century Pittsburgh, he had no directing experience. He recalled: "Someone had looked around and said,'Who's going to be the director?' I said,'I will.' I said. So I went to look for a book on. I found one called The Fundamentals of Play Directing and checked it out."In 1976 Vernell Lillie, who had founded the Kuntu Repertory Theatre at the University of Pittsburgh two years earlier, directed Wilson's The Homecoming.
That same year Wilson saw Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, his first professional play. Wilson and poet Maisha Baton started the Kuntu Writers Workshop to bring African-American writers together and to assist them in publication and production. Both organizations are still active. In 1978 Wilson moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the suggestion of his friend, director Claude Purdy, who helped him secure a job writing educational scripts for the Science Museum of Minnesota. In 1980 he received a fellowship for The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis, he continued writing plays. For three years, he was a part-time cook for the Little Brothers of the Poor. Wilson had a long association with the Penumbra Theatre Company of St. Paul, which premiered some of his plays, he wro
On Chesil Beach (film)
On Chesil Beach is a 2017 British drama film directed by Dominic Cooke and written by Ian McEwan, who adapted his own 2007 Booker Prize-nominated novella of the same name. It stars Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle and tells the story of virgin newlyweds and Edward, their first disastrous attempt at having sex; the initial experience and their differing responses to the failure have lifelong consequences for both. The film had its world premiere in the Special Presentations section at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2017, was released in the United States and United Kingdom in May 2018. Saoirse Ronan as Florence Ponting Billy Howle as Edward Mayhew Emily Watson as Violet Ponting Anne-Marie Duff as Marjorie Mayhew Samuel West as Geoffrey Ponting Adrian Scarborough as Lionel Mayhew Bebe Cave as Ruth Ponting Anton Lesser as Reverend Woollett Mark Donald as Charles Morrell Tamara Lawrance as Molly Anna Burgess as Anne Mayhew Mia Burgess as Harriet Mayhew In England in 1962, Edward Mayhew and Florence Ponting first meet after graduating from their respective universities.
He is a history rock-and-roll lover. They fall in love engage in a pleasant courtship, meet each other's families, decide to get married, despite their differences in background and social status. Florence is secretly anxious about the wedding due to her fears about sex and also for other reasons, but there is no one with whom she can discuss it. On Edward and Florence's honeymoon at Chesil Beach, their backgrounds begin to come to the fore: Edward's historic quickness to anger and sometimes physical belligerence, Florence's unspoken past with her father, who dominated her and molested her, they are both inexperienced sexually, their first attempt at sex goes badly wrong. Florence flees down the beach, after being confronted by an angry Edward concludes that she loves him much and wants to be with him for life but can only be a platonic wife, which Edward rejects, they part ways and their marriage is annulled. Thirteen years in 1975, a subdued and morose Edward owns a record shop, he accidentally learns that Florence is married and has a child, he painfully reminisces about his love for her and their unfortunate misunderstanding.
Much in 2007, a lonely Edward overhears on the radio that Florence's quartet, which includes her husband, will be giving a farewell concert after 50 years of professional success. He attends and sits prominently front and center, when their eyes meet and Florence shed silent tears of regret. In 2010, Sam Mendes had signed on to direct the film with Focus Features developing. Carey Mulligan was in talks to star as Florence Ponting. Shooting was delayed when Mendes' Skyfall went into production and Focus Features pulled out of development. In 2011, the film went back in to pre-production, this time with Mike Newell directing and Sam Mendes producing through his Neal Street Productions banner with StudioCanal and BBC Films. Production ceased after pre-production over-ran and the producers got cold feet. In February 2016, it was announced. Elizabeth Karlsen and Stephen Woolley produced the film under their Number 9 Films banner. In May 2016, during the Cannes Film Festival, it was announced that BBC Films would co-produce the film.
In August 2016, Billy Howle joined the cast as the male lead. In October 2016, it was announced that Thorsten Schumacher's new film and TV outfit Rocket Science had come on board to complete international sales. Principal photography began on 17 October 2016, on Chesil Beach, England. Other filming locations included London and Pinewood Studios in England. Lionsgate acquired the distribution rights for the United Kingdom in October 2016. On Chesil Beach had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2017. Bleecker Street acquired the U. S. distribution rights in October 2017. On Chesil Beach was released in the UK on 18 May 2018. Scheduled for theatrical release in the United States on 15 June 2018, the date was pushed up to 18 May 2018. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 68% based on 134 reviews, an average rating of 6.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "On Chesil Beach presents a well-acted and solidly crafted adaptation of a small yet resonant story with deceptively rich subtext."
On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 62 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". The Economist praised McEwan's screenwriting for having "deviated from the source material in effective ways". Owen Gleiberman of Variety praised the cast and called the film a "romantic drama that gets so far into the mystique of its era that it takes you somewhere you’ve never been." Anya Jaremko-Greenwold of FLOOD Magazine wrote that "while men might fail to recognize how intimidating the expectation of sex can be for women, it’s something McEwan’s novel hinges upon with exquisite delicacy."Writing for IndieWire, Kate Erbland gave the film a grade of "C+," saying, "After a strong start, the film’s middle section sags into the most benign of observations about Edward and Florence and the elements that have pulled them together. For a film, so consumed with the burning complications of first, early love, On Chesil Beach more resembles a wilted relationship, one that offers up no excitement about the future and little respect for the past."
Gone Too Far!
Gone Too Far! is a play written by Bola Agbaje. It was produced at the Royal Court Theatre. Agbaje, Bola. Gone Too Far!. London: Methuen Drama. ISBN 978-0-7136-8698-2. Young Writers Programme. "Gone Too Far! Education Pack". Royal Court Theatre. Retrieved 2009-02-19. Https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/lff/Online/default.asp? BOparam::WScontent::loadArticle::permalink=gone-too-far Information about film at the London Film Festival http://www.timeout.com/london/film/gone-too-far Time Out Film Review
Stephen David Daldry, CBE is an English director and producer of film and television. He has won three Olivier Awards for his work in the West End and two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway, he has directed several feature films that have been nominated for Best Director and/or Best Picture at the Academy Awards. These films are The Hours, The Reader and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. From 2016 to 2019, he produced and directed Netflix television series The Crown, for which he received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations and one win for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Drama Series. Daldry joined an elite group of directors by receiving nominations for direction in theatre and film. Daldry was born in Dorset, the son of bank manager Patrick Daldry and singer Cherry Daldry; the family moved to Taunton, where his father died of cancer when Daldry was aged 14. Daldry joined a youth theatre group in Taunton. and performed as Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever for the local amateur society, Taunton Thespians.
At age 18, he won a Royal Air Force scholarship to University of Sheffield to study English, where he became chairman of the Sheffield University Theatre Group. After graduation, he spent a year travelling through Italy, he trained as an actor at East 15 Acting School, through the University of Essex, on the post-graduate course 1982-83. Returning to Sheffield, he became an apprentice at the Crucible Theatre from 1985–88. Daldry began his career at the Sheffield Crucible with Artistic Director Clare Venables, he headed productions at the Manchester Library Theatre, Liverpool Playhouse, Stratford East, Oxford Stage and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre from 1992–98, where he headed the £26 million development scheme, he was Artistic Director of London's Gate Theatre and the Metro Theatre Company. He is on the Board of the Young and Old Vic Theatres and remains an Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre, he was the Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre for 2002 at St Catherine's College, Oxford.
Daldry made his feature film directorial debut with Billy Elliot. His next film was The Hours, it won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Nicole Kidman, he directed a stage musical adaptation of Billy Elliot, in 2009 his work on it earned him a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical. He has made a film version of The Reader, based on the book of the same name and starring Kate Winslet, David Kross and Ralph Fiennes; the film won Best Actress at the Academy Awards for Kate Winslet. He has received Academy Award nominations for directing three of his five films. Daldry was planning to direct a film adaptation of Michael Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay in 2005. In the ensuing three years, the project was cancelled and reinitiated several times, in late 2006 was cast with Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire. According to Chabon, production stalled due to "studio-politics kinds of reasons that I'm not privy to," and as of April 2007 remains inactive.
Daldry's fourth film was Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Jonathan Safran Foer, starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow and introduced newcomer Thomas Horn. The screenplay was written by Eric Roth; the film received a nomination for Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards and a nomination for von Sydow for Best Supporting Actor. Although Daldry has been married since 2001 to performance artist and magazine editor Lucy Sexton, with whom he has a daughter, he describes himself as a gay man because people prefer it, he was in a relationship with set designer Ian MacNeil for 13 years. They met at an outdoor production of Alice in Wonderland in Lancaster in 1988, after settling in Camberwell, began collaborating on theatrical productions; the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Liverpool Playhouse, England Theatre Royale, England, 1988 An Inspector Calls, York Theatre Royal, 1988 Judgement Day, Old Red Lion Theatre, London, 1989 Figaro Gets Divorced, Gate Theatre, London, 1990 Cutting Room, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London, 1990 Our Man in Marzibah and Rousseau's Tale, Gate Theatre, 1991 Damned for Despair, Gate Theatre, 1991 Jerker, Gate Theatre, 1991 Pioneers in Ingolstadt, Gate Theatre, 1991 Purgatory in Ingolstadt, Gate Theatre, 1991 Manon Lescaut, Dublin Grand Opera, 1992 An Inspector Calls, National Theatre Company, Lyttelton Theatre, London, 1992 Royale Theatre, New York City, 1994–1995, *later Garrick Theatre, London, 1995 Playhouse Theatre, London, 2016–17 Search and Destroy, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 1993 Machinal, National Theatre Company, Lyttelton Theatre, 1993 The Europeans, 1993 The Kitchen, Royal Court Theatre, 1994 The Editing Process, Royal Court Theatre, 1994 Rat in the Skull, Duke of York's Theatre, London, 1995 The Libertine, Royal Court Theatre, 1995 The Man of Mode, Royal Court Theatre, 1995 Body Talk, Royal Court Theatre, 1996 This Is a Chair, in London International Festival of Theatre, London, 1997 Via Dolorosa, Royal Court Theatre, 1998 Booth Theatre, New York City, 1999 Far Away, Royal Court Theatre, 2000 New York Theatre Workshop, New York City, 2002–2003 A Number, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, Royal Court Theatre, 2002 New York Theatre Workshop, 2002–2003 The Jungle, Young Vic, 2017-2018 St. Ann's Warehouse, 2018 Awards1993: Laurence Olivier Award for Best Director o
One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English-language edition, which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment; the work was collected over many centuries by various authors and scholars across West and South Asia and North Africa. Some tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Indian, Greek and Turkish folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were folk stories from the Abbasid and Mamluk eras, while others the frame story, are most drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hezār Afsān, which in turn relied on Indian elements. What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves; the stories proceed from this original tale. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights.
The bulk of the text is in prose, although verse is used for songs and riddles and to express heightened emotion. Most of the poems are single quatrains, although some are longer; some of the stories associated with The Nights, in particular "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor", were not part of The Nights in its original Arabic versions but were added to the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators. The main frame story concerns Shahryār, whom the narrator calls a "Sasanian king" ruling in "India and China". Shahryār is shocked to learn. In his bitterness and grief, he decides. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonor him; the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade does not end it.
The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins another one, the king, eager to hear the conclusion of that tale as well, postpones her execution once again; this goes on for one one nights, hence the name. The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, comedies, poems and various forms of erotica. Numerous stories depict jinns, apes, sorcerers and legendary places, which are intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally. Common protagonists include the historical Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, his Grand Vizier, Jafar al-Barmaki, the famous poet Abu Nuwas, despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Sassanid Empire, in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture.
The different versions have different individually detailed endings but they all end with the king giving his wife a pardon and sparing her life. The narrator's standards for what constitutes a cliffhanger seem broader than in modern literature. While in many cases a story is cut off with the hero in danger of losing his life or another kind of deep trouble, in some parts of the full text Scheherazade stops her narration in the middle of an exposition of abstract philosophical principles or complex points of Islamic philosophy, in one case during a detailed description of human anatomy according to Galen—and in all these cases turns out to be justified in her belief that the king's curiosity about the sequel would buy her another day of life; the history of the Nights is complex and modern scholars have made many attempts to untangle the story of how the collection as it exists came about. Robert Irwin summarises their findings: In the 1880s and 1890s a lot of work was done on the Nights by Zotenberg and others, in the course of which a consensus view of the history of the text emerged.
Most scholars agreed that the Nights was a composite work and that the earliest tales in it came from India and Persia. At some time in the early 8th century, these tales were translated into Arabic under the title Alf Layla, or'The Thousand Nights'; this collection formed the basis of The Thousand and One Nights. The original core of stories was quite small. In Iraq in the 9th or 10th century, this original core had Arab stories added to it—among them some tales about the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. From the 10th century onwards independent sagas and story cycles were added to the compilation Then, from the 13th century onwards, a further layer of stories was add