Saturday, September 29, 2007
Hanging with the thespians
Wednesday evening, I was invited by my most beautiful, bright and bold friend, Ellyn Toscano to join the 'cast', writer, director, producer, and set designer (from a new play by Sir Antony Sher, that was previewed at Villa La Pietra on Friday, before opening in the West End in London on November 1), for dinner. Besides, being impressed, and I admit, I am very easily impressed, by the works and fame of this group, I can't remember having more fun on an evening out.
But let's get to being impressed:
Sir Antony Sher wrote the new play about the making of Michelangelo's David, which is called The Giant. He has been knighted by the royal order for his contributions to the theatre. He has written 3 plays, been a major actor in the RSC and National Theatre and received the Lawrence Olivier award a few times. He is also noteworthy because he and his partner, Greg Doran (director of the production) are among the first gay couples to form a civil partnership in England. Also, the first 'civil partnership' couple to be invited to spend the weekend at Sandringham Castle with Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
John Light: An actor who plays Michelangelo in the play is also a noted actor, but got 'impressed' points because he is married to Neve Campbell (American actress).
Roger Allam: plays Leonardo da Vinci. He is an amazing actor. In the movie, The Queen with Helen Mirren, he played the part of the Queen's private secretary. Besides being 'too tired, too old, and too talented', he speaks many languages, has the sharpest wit, and is very sexy!
Stephen Hagen: Remember this name, because he will be a superstar soon. He plays the quarry worker who Michelangelo uses as his model for David (the play is historical fiction). Stephen is such an amazing likeness, that when the troupe went to Carrara, people were pointing in the streets. He's a magnificent 'hunk', tall, exquisite, funny, sweet and heterosexual. At dinner, I had to ask him if he was straight. He barked, 'yes'. And I told him, it was a compliment that stemmed from my 10 years in San Francisco, when I established a 'rule of thumb', that any man 75% or more good-looking was assumed gay. And this 'assumption' proved true almost without exception.
During the reading of the play on Friday, there is a time when Michelangelo tells him to take off his shirt, but since it was just a read-thru, Stephen just makes a motion without disrobing. "Damn!!" is the word that I hear from the student sitting behind me... she was the only one who vocalized what we all were thinking.