National Theatre Live’s 2012 season in Chicago concludes with Shakespeare’s obscure Timon of Athens starring Simon Russell Beale Wednesday, November 28, 7pm at Music Box Theatre
Chicago’s Music Box Theatre continues its collaboration with the UK’s National Theatre Live, the best of British theatre broadcast live to cinemas worldwide. Up next: the great Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Timon of Athens, based on Shakespeare’s strange fable of consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton and directed by Nicholas Hytner (Miss Saigon, The History Boys). The one-time Chicago showing happens Wednesday, November 28, 7 p.m. at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 North Southport Avenue. Tickets to National Theatre Live productions are $15 in advance at the Music Box Theatre box office and online at www.musicboxtheatre.com/
Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts, ostentatious host, Timon of Athens (Beale) is surrounded by freeloaders and sycophants. He vastly outspends his resources but, finding his coffers empty, reassures his loyal steward that all will be well. When he calls upon his associates, instead of offering help, they hang him out to dry. After a final, vengeful banquet, Timon withdraws to a literal and emotional wasteland, living off roots and pouring curses on a morally bankrupt Athens.
Simon Russell Beale has been described by the Independent as “the greatest stage actor of his generation.” His recent work for the National Theatre includes London Assurance, Much Ado About Nothing and Collaborators, John Hodge’s Olivier Award-nominated new play in which he portrayed Stalin.
Now in its fourth season, National Theatre Live
is the brainchild ofNorthwestern University alumnus David Sabel, the National Theatre’s Head of Digital. Sabel explains, “When you think of filmed theatre it's the exact opposite of what it's supposed to be: there in the space, seeing the sweat and feeling the emotion and heat of the room. How is that going to work? People are surprised at how connected they feel. A huge part of that is the shared experience; if you were watching it on TV, even if it was live, you'd go and make a cup of tea, but here you are buying a ticket and reacting and applauding together.
“It's like filming a sports match; you take the audience's eye to where the ball goes. If we've done our job, you should feel you saw a piece of theatre, not a film, even though there were probably lots of close ups where the director was choosing what you see.” Since its debut in 2009, National Theatre Live has expanded from 40 theatres in the UK to nearly 300 screens worldwide. Visit www.musicboxtheatre.com/
About the Music Box Theatre: For nearly 30 years the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please visitwww.musicboxtheatre.com . Download the entire Music Box Theatre Fall Calendar here: http://www.musicboxtheatre.
National Theatre Live is an initiative by the UK’s National Theatre to broadcast live performances onto cinema screens around the world. Since its first season, which began in June 2009 with the acclaimed production of Phédre starring Helen Mirren, more than 750,000 people have now experienced the National’s work on movie screens worldwide.