Los Angeles, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/07/2014 -- Co-hosts Ioan Gruffudd and Joely Fisher good-naturedly romped through bits and pieces of AS YOU LIKE IT, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and ROMEO AND JULIET, while seamlessly threading the mix of sonnets, monologues, scenes and music that made up the evening on April 25th, 2014.
Among the highlights were Harry Hamlin's full-out out performance of the St Crispin day's speech from HENRY V (complete sword an drop), as touchingly rendered sonnets by performed by Jane Seymour (# 23) and Joan Van Ark (#18). Malcolm McDowell reprised with gusto Prospero's speech from THE TEMPEST, which he ha last performed with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic and Michael York closed the evening with a heart-felt reading of Shakespeare's Sonnet # 116 ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds...)
Music was provided by London-based conductor Martin Neary, whose Millennium Consort singers gave a world-class sampling of 400 years of Shakespeare influenced music. Jazz artist Sherry Williams complemented the classical sound with jazz settings of Shakespeare by Cleo Laine and Johndankworth.
Full cast included Ashley Bell, Neil Dickson, Alexandra Helgerson (understudy for Judy Geeson) Victoria Platt, Robert Wisdom, Claudia Christian, David Melville, Michele Green, Mira Furlan, Sophie Winkleman, Suzan Crowley and Nigel Daly.
Theater guests included: BritWeek Chairman Bob Peirce and Sharon Harroun Peirce, Nigel Lythgoe, Lord Frederick Windsor, Michael Nouri, Roger and Julie Corman, Amanda Eliasch, Ross King, Pat York, Holly Palance, and Mag Scott, CEO Beverly Hills Wealth Management, the performance sponsor, with astronaut David Scott. Aston Martin sponsored the VIP after cast party.
Part of the proceeds of the evening are going to support the work of the Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble and The Hobart Shakespeareans, two dynamic inner city Shakespeare programs.
The evening was written and directed by producer Louis Fantasia, Director of Shakespeare at the Huntington and Dean of the Chair of Liberal Arts at the NY Film Academy.
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