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New Globe Theater Opens First Play

August 25, 1996

Shakespeare is once again playing at London's Globe Theater along with a bonus even the Bard didn't offer: a behind-the-scenes tour.

Last week, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" opened at a partially completed, $45-million reconstruction of the famous open-air Globe; the original was destroyed in the 17th century.

On the south bank of the River Thames, the new oak-and-thatched-roofed theater, which accommodates 1,000 people on benches and 500 standees, is the brainchild of American actor-director Sam Wanamaker, who established a trust in 1970 to raise funds for it. He died in 1993, the year building began.

The theater, scheduled for an official gala opening in June 1997, now features an exhibition and guided tour to watch craftsmen reconstruct the building. It is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets: $7.73 adults, $6.18 students and seniors, $4.64 for children, $21.63 for a family of four.

Tickets to "Two Gentlemen," which runs through Sept. 15, are $7.73 to $24.72. Reservations: 011-44-171-344-4444 from Ticketmaster or (011-44-171-401-9919 from the Globe box office.

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