Shakespeare group will present 5 plays in 2011

Shakespeare group will present 5 plays in 2011

NEW YORK — Great Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company will take up residence at New York’s Park Avenue Armory in 2011, presenting five Shakespeare plays in repertory from July 6-Aug. 14, Lincoln Center Festival and the armory announced last week.

The plays will be chosen from the company’s 2009 and 2010 seasons and could include “Antony and Cleopatra,” “As You Like It,” “Julius Caesar,” “King Lear,” “Romeo and Juliet” or “The Winter’s Tale.”

The six-week engagement will be part of Lincoln Center Festival 2011. The 44-member acting troupe will perform in a 930-seat thrust-stage auditorium that will be installed in the armory’s Wade Thompson Drill Hall. It will be a replica of the RSC’s Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, where the company currently performs.

The RSC visit will be presented in association with Ohio State University, which has a three-year partnership with the company for a teacher-education program. RSC members most likely will visit the university during the company’s New York run, and there are tentative plans for it to present its Young People’s Shakespeare productions of “Hamlet” and “Comedy of Errors” in Columbus.

Jones, Law, Knightley up for Olivier theater awards

LONDON — Hollywood heavyweights feature strongly in the race for Britain’s 2010 Laurence Olivier theater awards, with Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, James Earl Jones and Keira Knightley among the nominees.

Jones is shortlisted for best actor for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” alongside Law for “Hamlet,” James McAvoy for “Three Days of Rain,” Mark Rylance for “Jerusalem,” Ken Stott for “A View from the Bridge” and Samuel West for “Enron.”

Weisz received a best-actress nomination for her performance as faded belle Blanche Dubois in “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Her competitors are Gillian Anderson for “A Doll’s House,” Lorraine Burroughs for “The Mountaintop,” Imelda Staunton for “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” and Juliet Stevenson for “Duet for One.”

“Pirates of the Caribbean” star Knightley is nominated in the supporting actress category for her turn as a manipulative movie starlet in “The Misanthrope.”

Melanie Chisholm — better known as Mel C of the Spice Girls — is nominated for best actress in a musical, for “Blood Brothers.” “Mr. Bean” star Rowan Atkinson is up for best actor for playing Fagin in “Oliver!”

The Olivier awards, Britain’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tonys, honor achievements in London theater, musicals, dance and opera. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on March 21.

Gabriel unable to attend Genesis induction into hall

NEW YORK — When Genesis gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month, founding member Peter Gabriel won’t be there. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame president Joel Peresman said in a statement last week that Gabriel says he has a scheduling conflict with his tour that begins in Europe.

Along with Gabriel, the band’s original lineup included Mike Rutherford, Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett. Phil Collins joined the band later and replaced Gabriel as lead vocalist in 1976.

The induction ceremony takes place March 15 in New York.

Today’s birthdays

TV personality Hugh Downs is 89. Actress Florence Henderson is 76. Jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker is 67. TV personality Pat O’Brien is 62. Magician Teller of Penn and Teller is 62. Actor Ken Wahl (“Wiseguy”) is 53. Actress Meg Tilly is 50. Singer Dwayne Wiggins of Tony! Toni! Tone! is 49. Singer Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty is 38.

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