May 10, 1992
Stephen Oliver, a composer of operas and soundtracks better known in his native England than in this country, has died in London. A spokesman for Novello & Co., his publisher, said last week that he was 42 when he died April 29 of the complications of AIDS. Oliver is probably best known in the United States for the music he composed for the British production of Charles Dickens' "Nicholas Nickleby" which came to America in 1981 and was later televised.
September 11, 1987 |
Hand-puppeteer William Mack grins and introduces what he calls his "Cliff Notes version of Reader's Digest theater." We then get "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" in 8 1/2 minutes, with foam-ball heads in hats and collars enacting Dickens' characters from atop Mack's white-gloved hands. Similar hand-puppet theatrics unfold "Gone With the Wind," "a blow-by-blow account in 13 minutes," and other stage classics (a ballet and a Shakespeare comedy).
November 25, 2012 |
Call it "Long Day's Journey Into Intermission. " Or maybe "Waiting ... and Waiting ... and Waiting for Godot. " It is the marathon play or performance piece, the theatrical equivalent of the Tour de France or the nine-course prix fixe menu at the French Laundry. Done poorly it can seem like an endurance test or a stunt. Done brilliantly it can be transformational for those putting on the show as well as those watching it. Its exemplars are monumental, magisterial works like the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "Nicholas Nickleby," based on Charles Dickens' 1839 novel, which clocked in at 81/2 hours in two parts (dinner break included)
December 7, 1985 |
Who's the most-produced playwright in America? For most of the year, according to Theatre Communications Group, it's Shakespeare. But in December, Charles Dickens takes over with productions of "A Christmas Carol" in practically every city. This winter the Dickens theater boom extends beyond "A Christmas Carol." The Guthrie Theatre is touring "Great Expectations." The Royal Shakespeare Company is about to revive "Nicholas Nickleby" with an eye towards an American tour.
April 19, 2007 |
In Dickens World, rat catchers hunt vermin on London's cobbled streets, pickpockets roam the alleys -- and visitors line up for a fun-tastic water ride. A new theme park inspired by the work of Charles Dickens aims to transform a 70,000-square-foot warehouse near London into a teeming -- and family-friendly -- corner of Victorian England. Literary purists may balk, but the attraction's backers are confident. "Would Dickens approve?
February 17, 1985 |
It was the end of a trying week. Dover Castle was cold and damp, and strong winds blew in from the sea. About 200 crew members and actors walked around in Wellington boots, scarfs and parkas wrapped around long woolen robes and armor breastplates. Fifty horses pawed the ground and neighed in a makeshift stable, waiting for the sun to shine long enough to film Lady Jane Grey's execution.
March 30, 2011 |
Roger Rees and Peter Pan go way back. The Welsh actor, director and impresario has been working on the current off-Broadway hit "Peter and the Starcatcher" for years, but his relationship with J.M. Barrie's fictional hero goes back almost 50 years. "My first acquaintance with Peter Pan was back when I lived in South London," Rees recalls over breakfast on the city's Upper West Side. "I was at art school and I needed to earn money, so I got a job as a stagehand at the Wimbledon Theatre and 'Peter Pan' was on tour there with Donald Sinden, who was playing Captain Hook.