Starring Booth

by John J. Miller on December 1, 2010

in Blog Posts

  • Sumo

Today, 150 years ago, “newspapers and handbills announced the first appearance of a familiar actor under an only half-familiar name: J. Wilkes Booth.” From the NYT Disunion blog:

He was to take the title parts in a long-forgotten drama, “Rafaelle,” and another Shakespeare play, “Richard III.” The latter role had helped make his father famous, and the younger Booth would continue performing it to great acclaim for the rest of his life. He seemed to take naturally to the character of the despotic ruler, overthrown and slain in the last act, whose credo is “I am determined to prove a villain.” Reviewers would describe his scenery-chewing histrionics in evoking the hunchback Richard’s “tempests of tragic wrath,” as well as his swashbuckling swordplay in the final battle scene.

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