Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Now: In the Wings on a World Stage": Kevin Spacey Becomes a Shakespearean Madman, Drives a Dune Buggy 

Wednesday, May 7 2014

What great fun it was to be in the 10-month international tour of Shakespeare's Richard III with Kevin Spacey in the lead and Sam Mendes directing. That's the gist of Jeremy Whelehan's puff piece, which should serve as a fine keepsake for anyone who caught the production or really wanted to. Here we meet the first transatlantic theater company, a rich stockpile of British and American actors with different degrees of Bard familiarity, and see them bonding harmoniously in the show or in backstage preparation and off-hours sightseeing. Once it achieves a certain critical mass of group dune-buggy rides and soundtrack cymbal swells, the whole project seems less a chronicle of or exegesis on playmaking than just some weird special episode of The Bachelor. ("On tonight's group date, Kevin hosts a yacht ride around the Amalfi coast, while some cast members hope to figure out just where they stand...") It's as cozy and self-congratulating as you'd expect from a thing executive-produced and distributed by Spacey, who, before plunging into the American version of House of Cards, clearly enjoyed warming up as one of literature's most famous political villains. Speaking of the creation of monsters, in this particular bit of "blockbuster theater," as one crew member calls it, Mendes seems a little stuck between staginess and starfuckery, but of course that worked for him before: He and Spacey both got Oscars for American Beauty. As for their undeniably momentous Richard III, well, yes, it must have been fun.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"