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If You Could See Any Star On Stage


hepclassic
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I was thinking a lot about how many classic movie stars maintained stage careers as well as did film, and how many did stage before film. Seeing how theatre is live and rarely taped, and all we have is playbills and ads with these stars mentioned, who would you like to have seen on stage? 

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Marlon Brando in Streetcar Named Desire.   He took New York by storm and all of his contemporaries were flocking to see it.

 

We have the film version but to see it live must have been awesome.

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This past February I got to see Dame Angela Lansbury in the Toronto production of Blithe Spirit -- the same role that earned Ms. Lansbury a Tony award in 2008.

 

A couple of nights later I happened to watch part of the film GASLIGHT for the umpteenth time on television and was struck by how privileged I was getting to see such a remarkably talented actress on stage at this late point in her career.

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This past February I got to see Dame Angela Lansbury in the Toronto production of Blithe Spirit -- the same role that earned Ms. Lansbury a Tony award in 2008.

 

Ms. Lansbury reprised Blithe Spirit in London last year, winning an Olivier Award at this year's Oliviers, in early April 2015.

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Henry Fonda as Clarence Darrow

 

In my case Mr.Six, yep, Hank Fonda also...but in "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial"(I understand a very young James Garner also had a small part that one), and in "Mister Roberts".

 

(...figured I'd get that one in before a certain other poster mentions it here) ;)

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Ms. Lansbury reprised Blithe Spirit in London last year, winning an Olivier Award at this year's Oliviers, in early April 2015.

I saw it in London!  She was amazing in it.  What a wonderful night.

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My first choices would be Geraldine Page and Marlon Brando.

 

Page and Brando are the best examples of film and stage actors trained in American interpretations of the techniques of Stanislavski, commonly referred to by the general public as "method" acting. (Brando actually hated this term because of its association with Lee Strasberg, whom Brando and his self-acknowledged mentor Stella Adler disdained).

 

Page continued to work on the stage after she began making movies (she actually worked more on the stage) while Brando's last appearance in a stage play was in 1953.

 

While both Page and Brando are considered to be "naturalistic" actors (in contrast to the "classic Hollywood" style), both of them were masters of their craft, able to use their considerable talent, skills and instincts to create real human beings in fictional circumstances.

 

 

 

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Not Broadway or an original production, but perhaps the stage performance I most wish I could have seen: an LA little theatre production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, starring Warren Oates as McMurphy (1966). Jack Klugman, who saw this as well as Kirk Douglas on Broadway, said it was the best McMurphy ever. Douglas IMHO was totally wrong for the role -- he's a straightforward schemer. Nicholson doesn't quite seem right either -- he's not bad, but he's always been essentially the cleaned-up, acceptable Warren Oates.

 

Oates, with his hillbilly thuggery and causeless rebelliousness crossed with childlike petulance and impetuousness, might have been perfect. IMHO he seems to have been born to play the role.

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There are too many to name for me. Top of my list would be Katharine Hepburn in A Warrior's Husband and Coco, followed by anything Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh toured in that came States side, followed by Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, and Claudia McNeil in the original production of A Raisin In The Sun. 

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I was thinking a lot about how many classic movie stars maintained stage careers as well as did film, and how many did stage before film. Seeing how theatre is live and rarely taped, and all we have is playbills and ads with these stars mentioned, who would you like to have seen on stage? 

I'd like to resurrect Philip Seymour Hoffman, and see him again.

 

What a waste. What a magnificent actor.

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John Wilkes Booth in Richard III.

 

And his master of improv cameo in Our American Cousin.

 

LOL

 

Yep, maybe a bit "sick"...but funny alright, Bogie.

 

(...as you can tell, I'm not one of those who think these kind'a jokes are "still too soon") ;)

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