On this day in history, February 5, 1919 – Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith launch United Artists.
View of Wanderwell car no. 9 parked in front of United Artists movie theater. On marquee: “United Artists. Doug. Fairbanks in ‘Mr. Robinson Crusoe’ also Aloha Wanderwell in person.” Painted on side of automobile: “WAWEC 9. Wanderwell expedition for international police.” Handwritten on front: “1933."
Courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library
“The British Black and
Asian Shakespeare Performance Database details the casts of 1,189
Shakespearean productions dating back to 1930. It reveals that Laertes
and Ophelia have been played by black or Asian actors 14 times in
productions of Hamlet, compared to six times in the title role.”
If you’ve been to the movies recently,chances are you’ll know Tom Hiddleston’s face, even if you don’t know his name. With starring roles in War Horse, Thor, The Deep Blue Sea and Midnight in Paris, Tom has shot to fame working with directors like Steven Spielberg, Kenneth Branagh and Woody Allen. He talked to Run-Riot about his career so far and revealed a bit about his romantic nature.
KA: You started acting at The Dragon school in Oxford where many British actors and actresses started out. Did you always know you wanted to act professionally?
TH: I had a fantastic time at The Dragon. All I remember about my time there was that it was an absolute riot: I don’t remember ‘learning’ anything, and yet I learned everything. It’s an amazing place. It sounds cliché but I started acting by doing impersonations, and trying to make people laugh. I can remember a turning point. I was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1999 with a school production of R. C Sheriff’s JOURNEY’S END, I was eighteen years’ old, and I felt a confidence I hadn’t felt before: a will to do it, a need to do it; a hope that maybe I had something to contribute, something to offer, and a curiosity to explore.
KA: You went on to study Classics at Cambridge- what’s your favourite ancient myth?
TH: The Odyssey. It gets me every time. Odysseus spends ten years in Troy, like everyone else. But unlike everyone else, it takes him a further ten years to get home. His resolve and determination is tested beyond the limits of imagination by the gods’ bitter twists of fate: he is tempted by the Sirens, held captive by Calypso, he is dared to sails past the six-headed monster Scylla and the whirlpool Charybdis, his men are drugged and turned into pigs by a witch called Circe, and he has get past the Cyclops. And after all that he returns to his homeland of Ithaca and his wife Penelope, who after twenty years, is still waiting for him, still faithful, refusing the courtly attention of every suitor in the land, and his son Telemachus waits too, champing at the bit to restore order. And finally father and son join forces and quell the rebellion. It’s the most romantic, epic, heroic myth of all time.
KA: You recently played Loki in the movie Thor, based on the comic book inspired by characters from Norse mythology- do you think superheroes have replaced gods in our cultural iconography?
TH: Probably something like that. It’s in our nature to want to watch our human frailties played out on a huge, epic canvas. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama: fathers and sons, star-crossed lovers, warring brothers, martyred heroes. Tales that taught us the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It’s the everyday stuff of everyman’s life, but it’s writ large, and we love it.
KA: Kenneth Branagh, Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg; you’ve been working with some real living legends-what have you learned from them?
TH: Everything. Humility, diligence, preparation, kindness, generosity, and punctuality. All the good stuff.
KA: You’re currently filming Henry IV, and I know you’ve performed in other Shakespeare productions from Othello to Twelfth Night-what do you think is the secret of the enduring appeal of Shakespeare?
TH: What distinguishes Shakespeare above any writer in history is his humanity: his sympathy with our fallibility. We are all flawed heroes, or heroic villains. His poetry is heartbreakingly beautiful, simple, and contains an ancient wisdom. He understood every extremity of human nature - our complexities and contradictions - with such extraordinarily attentive levels of comprehension and compassion. Reading his plays is like staring at the ocean - it makes you feel wiser, calmer, at peace.
KA: You’ll be reading Tennessee William’s erotic short story The Kingdom of Earth at Stories Before Bedtime- what made you choose this story?Do you think more teenagers would develop an interest in literature and theatre if more 'adventurous’ texts were encouraged at schools?
TH: The Kingdom of Earth is interesting because it is the work by a writer who seems entirely at ease with sexuality as a subject for art. Tennessee Williams’s dramatic works are among the most scrupulously studied in the form. Everybody knows A Streetcar Named Desire. His short story The Kingdom of Earth is about that very thing: desire - its naturalness, its automatic urgency, its power. Being a teenager is all about self-discovery and exploration in every respect, and sexuality shouldn’t be excluded from that. Literature shouldn’t be a dusty thing - it should reflect life in every quarter.
KA: If you were taking a date out in London on Valentine’s Day, where would you go?
TH: Well now that would be telling, wouldn’t it? I think if you’re going to be conventionally romantic you’ve got to go all the way: a beautiful dinner somewhere lovely, with boat-loads of flowers, chocolates and champagne. But it might also be nice to wrap up warm and sit on a roof somewhere, with a cup of hot soup and your girl, watch the planes come in over London and listen to the night.
Neoclassical architect Giuseppe
Valadier died on 1st February 1839 in Rome. His career was launched in 1786,
when he was appointed architetto camerale
by Pope Pius VI. Valadier also worked as archaeologist and urban
designer. Between his archeological contributions, there are the rediscovery of
the path of the ancient via Flaminia and the restoration works at the Milvian Bridge and at the Arch of Titus. Under Napoleon, Valadier
was responsible for the excavations and the
of the Imperial Forums area.
significant work by Valadier was the design of the Piazza del Popolo (1793-1822). At the center of its elliptical plan, the pre-existing Egyptian obelisk was relocated to a point on
axis with three radiating streets.
The square was then linked via stairs and terraces with the Pincio gardens, where the architect renovated the ancient Caffè del Pincio (now called Casina Valadier).
remarkable works of Giuseppe Valadier include the façade of the church of San Pantaleo, the reorganization
of Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano, a new design for the Valle Theater,
the construction of Villa Torlonia. One of the last great villas built in Rome prior to the modern era, this building was later used
by Benito Mussolini as his state residence.
This Wikipedia article is one of the fruits of our first Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon. Special Collections has biographical files, an oral history and a book on Nellie Stone Johnson. There is also a file on her in the old Minneapolis Public Library archives.
Nellie was a pioneer in Minneapolis politics, a member of the Farmer-Labor side of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) in Minnesota, she was the first African-American elected to citywide office in Minneapolis. Nellie was elected to the Minneapolis Public Library board in 1945.
The History Theater in St. Paul will be debuting a play on Johnson, Nellie on January 26, it will run until February 17th.
From the History Theater:
Civil rights and labor activist Nellie Stone Johnson was a Minnesota hero. Her feisty spirit and drive to succeed made her a political force to be reckoned with on issues of social justice, labor rights, and equality. Renowned playwright Kim Hines tells the remarkable story of a young African-American woman who moved from a farm in northern Minnesota to Minneapolis to attend the U of M. In the face of discrimination at her job Nellie fought back by organizing workers to form a union, breaking numerous race and gender barriers along way.
Angelica and Hamilton meet at the Winter’s Ball. She’s married to John Church, a rich businessman, and she wants Alexander so bad, but they could only be a fling and she has her reputation to think of, and what about Eliza? Eliza could marry him, Angelica could only love him, so she swallows her love and she is always almost telling her sister how much she still wants him and it hangs in the air unspoken.
And during “Satisfied”, we get another perspective. John Laurens has a wife and daughter in England, but he loves Alexander so much and it’s easy to treat the relationship they have as another proud ideal of republicanism that just so happens to involve sex. John knows Alexander is out there hustling for a wife not only because of his desire to climb the social ranks but as revenge for John not telling him about his family.
And later Alexander keeps saying that Eliza won’t come between them but John feels that pull, of reputation and class and legitimacy, tearing at them both. He asks over and over again for Alexander to prove his love, to not let them drift apart, because that’s the only thing between John and his wish for death right now.
Then John dies and Angelica leaves for England and Alexander buries himself in his work, unwilling to think about what he has lost.
And by Act 2, when Jefferson saunters onto the scene, Alexander finds himself an enemy before he discovers that Angelica and Jefferson met in Paris, and what’s worse, they’re still writing letters, she carries his portrait and he makes elaborate plans for her (humanize Hamilton!Jefferson 2k16). Angelica loves his brilliance and drive, even though he doesn’t like talking about politics to women. He is something she could have without breaking her sister’s heart.
But she still believes as Alexander believes, and their rivalry grows, and finally there is the choice. And even though Jefferson loves her, she is uncomfortable with his politics, with the way he treats his slaves, with his hypocrisy. She stands with her sister and her brother-in-law, feeling as if she’s made the right decision.
And then The Reynolds Pamphlet is published. She comes all the way across the sea and Alexander is so happy to see her because he knows she’ll understand the mistakes that happen when a great mind enters a difficult marriage. He forgave her for breaking his heart a little only recently, here she is to reciprocate.
She tears into him. She can’t believe she chose him over Jefferson, because she thought he had his head on straight morally, and then he went and ruined everything. Because she thought they’d learned together that you can’t have the legacy and reputation you want and freedom. They are not co-conspirators, and she will not join him in putting selfishness over their marriages.
“Hamilton: An American Musical” is a revolutionary Broadway show and a full-on phenomenon. TODAY’s Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, and Tamron Hall speak to star Chris Jackson, who plays George Washington, and shares how the concept came about, and how they made the history accessible through the theater.
The thing that is inarguably rare about Hamilton is Miranda himself. As a theater artist who successfully writes both music and lyrics, he is already part of a rarefied club. … Add book-writer to the job description, and half of those names drop away. … In any case, [none of these] also starred, as the 35-year-old Miranda does, in his own work: a grand slam that in the modern history of musical theater is nearly unprecedented. I can think of only two major figures with as many fingers in their respective pies: Noël Coward and George M. Cohan.
… In Miranda, the literary-musical drive, as expressed in abstract notions of structure and craft, is atypically joined to a performative drive, as expressed in concrete notions like playability and charm. … Without proper balance, that bipolar perspective could get really annoying; indeed, the smugness and voraciousness of some of Coward’s and Cohan’s preserved performances can leave you wanting to run for the fire exit even as they compel attention. Miranda has his ego under better control. … Helping to keep him in check is his respect for and attention to form: not only the forms of history but of songwriting. … He rarely missteps in applying the logic of the best lyricists to storytelling. … It helps that he’s a songwriting magpie, having grown up in a family and community where so many sounds were intersecting. … Sondheim in particular became an idol and then a mentor.
Lots of people idolize Sondheim and shiver with pleasure at his internal rhymes, but the more important thing Miranda appears to have learned from the master is the importance of taking his time to get things right. Both In the Heights and Hamilton were very long aborning, even by Broadway standards, and despite the huge éclat that greeted the Public Theater production, Miranda insisted on pausing to improve the show before moving to Broadway, when many advised an immediate transfer. That he would be, as the show’s star, the one who had to live most intimately with all his good and bad choices no doubt helped motivate him; that he wasn’t just one author out of three but one out of one no doubt gave him the clout. …
What are the chances of another such person coming along anytime soon?