More than three and half decades since its release, Star Wars is more popular than ever. News of the series reboot means a new round of earnest excitement, but for now, blind fandom has been replaced among aficionados with a new level of ironic appreciation for the universe: Family Guy and Robot Chicken have celebrated the trilogies; the ill-fated Star Wars Christmas Special that features Chewbacca racing across the galaxy for the holidays has millions of YouTube views; one-man Star Wars performer Charlie Ross has been on this very show; and actors like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reportedly began their comedy partnership when one recognized the other’s droid sound effect at a dinner.
All of which is to say it’s surprising that it took this long to bring the ivory tower gravity of Statford-On-Avon to the swamps of Dagobah.
But novelist Ian Doescher has done just that in his new book, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope, out now from Quirk Books.
And before you curse the ghost of Thomas Bowdler, think about it for a second: Star Wars and Shakespeare is not such a stretch. There’s the Falstaffian comic relief of C-3PO and R2D2, the questions over legacy and progeny that consume Darth Vader like an interstellar King Lear, the underworld of a Shylock known as Jabba the Hutt.
So before he exits, pursued by a Wookie, it's our pleasure to welcome Ian Doescher to the Roundtable.
Shakespeare’s masterpiece about an aging king’s attempt to divide his kingdom between his three daughters. Deceived by misplaced affection and flattery, the king makes a series of terrible decisions, tearing his family and kingdom apart, and is pushed to the brink of madness.
The festival's founding Artistic Director, Terry O’Brien joins us this morning along with Stephen Paul Johnson, who plays Lear, and Jason O’Connell who is in both Lear and All’s Well.
Saratoga Shakespeare Company’s free professional production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, gets underway next week. Directed by David Girard, the play will be set in 1930s Saratoga as part of the Saratoga 150 celebration.
Here to tell us more, we welcome Lary Opitz – who plays Falstaff and is the SSC Artistic Director. Yvonne Perry is also here – she plays Mistress Page - and Brenny Rabine plays Mistress Ford.
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival began in 1987 and makes its home under a specially designed tent theater on the grounds of the historic Boscobel House & Gardens in Garrison, New York. The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to producing the plays of Shakespeare with an economy of style that focuses energy and resources on script, actors and audience. This season they present Love’s Labour’s Lost, Romeo and Juliet, and The 39 Steps.
Saratoga Shakespeare’s Artistic Director, Bill Finlay, joins us along with actors Sarah Luz Cordoba and Patricia Culbert to discuss their production of Twelfth Night. The show opens in Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, on July 17 for a two-week run on the Alfred Z. Solomon Stage.