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Drama

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Michael

Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States Member Since 2002

I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

HELPFUL VOTES
2816
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REVIEWS
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387
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  • "Impressive Collection of Shaw"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I hesitated getting a long collection of plays in audio, concerned it might be too dry or boring. This collection of eight Shaw plays was performed wonderfully and was a joy to listen to. It turns out a collection of great plays is a really nice choice for a long drive with the family. These plays are still witty and penetrating. The casting is excellent with different enough voices to allow the characters to be clear. There are a few cases of stage-craft that you lose in audio-only; nevertheless the experience is well worth the time. This was the first collection of audible plays I have ordered, but having enjoyed it so much, I just ordered several more collections from the same theater company.

    More

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"
  1. The George Bernard Shaw C...
  2. .

A Peek at Michael S. Polk's Bookshelf

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Michael S. Polk's greatest hits:

Katherine Michaels

Katherine Michaels Ventura, CA United States 01-29-11 Listener Since 2007
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  • "Almost perfect"

    4 of 4 helpful votes

    An Ideal Husband is my favorite of Wilde's works, and I chose to listen to this version specifically because it was presented as an audio version of the play. And were it not for Yeardley Smith as Mabel, I would have given this 5 stars. Unfortunately, I had a rather nails-on-the-chalkboard reaction to Yeardley Smith's voice. That's what I get for not listening to the sample, I suppose. I'll probably listen to An Ideal Husband again, but not this version of it.

    This recording is a performance featuring Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina, Jim Norton and Yeardley Smith.

    More

    An Ideal Husband

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, and others
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    A tender love story, a serpentine villainess, a glittering setting in London society, and a showering of Wildean witticism are only a few of the reasons why this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals in London, in New York, and on the silver screen. This 1895 drama is eerily prescient, as it examines the plight of a promising politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Oscar Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us.

    Katherine Michaels says: "Almost perfect"

What's Trending in Drama:

  • 4.3 (517 ratings)
    The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (416)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • 4.3 (50 ratings)
    Hedda Gabler (






UNABRIDGED) by Henrik Ibsen Narrated by Juliet Stevenson, Michael Maloney, full cast

    Hedda Gabler

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson, Michael Maloney, full cast
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Hedda Gabler, the daughter of a deceased General, marries dull George Tesman and foresees a life of middle class tedium stretching ahead when they return from their honeymoon. Increasingly, she is drawn into the clutches of her admirer, Judge Brack, who seeks to establish a ménage à trois. Then the brilliant but dissolute Eilert Lovborg, a former flame, arrives to rival her husband for an academic post.

    Brenda says: "Hedda"
  • 4.4 (49 ratings)
    An Ideal Husband (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, Martin Jarvis, Robert Machray, Miriam Margolyes, Alfred Molina, Jim Norton, Yeardley Smith

    An Ideal Husband

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Rosalind Ayres, Jacqueline Bisset, Paul Gutrecht, and others
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    A tender love story, a serpentine villainess, a glittering setting in London society, and a showering of Wildean witticism are only a few of the reasons why this play has enjoyed hugely successful revivals in London, in New York, and on the silver screen. This 1895 drama is eerily prescient, as it examines the plight of a promising politician, desperate to hide a secret in his past. With empathy and wit, Oscar Wilde explores the pitfalls of holding public figures to higher standards than the rest of us.

    Katherine Michaels says: "Almost perfect"
  • 4.4 (42 ratings)
    The George Bernard Shaw Collection  by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Davison, Kate Burton, Roger Rees

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"
  •  
  • 4.3 (27 ratings)
    In Search of Lost Time (Dramatized)  by Marcel Proust Narrated by James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, Imogen Stubbs, Corin Redgrave

    In Search of Lost Time (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, and others
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.

    Pin says: "Absolutely First Class Drama!"
  • 4.5 (22 ratings)
    Othello (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser

    Othello

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 1 min)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Emma Fielding, Hugh Quarshie, Anton Lesser
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    This widely studied play is one of the "best sellers" of the Shakespeare canon. This production is the sixth Shakespeare play in the series undertaken by Naxos AudioBooks in conjunction with Cambridge University Press.

    H. M. Behrens says: "vocals strong - each character easy to track"
  • 4.3 (15 ratings)
    Major Barbara (






UNABRIDGED) by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Kate Burton, Roger Rees, J. B. Blanc, Matt Gaydos, Brian George, Hamish Linklater, Henri Lubatti

    Major Barbara

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 53 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Kate Burton, Roger Rees, J. B. Blanc, and others
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    Barbara is a major in the Salvation Army - but she's also the daughter of Andrew Undershaft, a man who's made millions from the sale of weapons of war. The real battle, however, rages between between the devilish father and his idealistic daughter as they answer the question: does salvation come through faith or finance? This sparkling comedy traverses family relations, religion, ethics and politics - as only Shaw, the master dramatist, can!

  • The Importance of Being Earnest (






UNABRIDGED) by Oscar Wilde Narrated by James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, Neil Dickson, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Matthew Wolf

    The Importance of Being Earnest

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By James Marsters, Charles Busch, Emily Bergl, and others
    Overall
    (517)
    Performance
    (417)
    Story
    (416)

    This final play from the pen of Oscar Wilde is a stylish send-up of Victorian courtship and manners, complete with assumed names, mistaken lovers, and a lost handbag. Jack and Algernon are best friends, both wooing ladies who think their names are Ernest, "that name which inspires absolute confidence." Wilde's effervescent wit, scathing social satire, and high farce make this one of the most cherished plays in the English language.

    Tad Davis says: "Delightfully silly"
  • A Raisin in the Sun: CliffsNotes (






UNABRIDGED) by Rosetta James, B.A. Narrated by Kate Rudd

    A Raisin in the Sun: CliffsNotes

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Rosetta James, B.A.
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (1)

    The CliffsNotes study guide on Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun supplements the original literary work, giving you background information about the author, an introduction to the work, a graphical character map, critical commentaries, expanded glossaries, and a comprehensive index, all for you to use as an educational tool that will allow you to better understand the work.

  • A Woman of No Importance  by Oscar Wilde Narrated by Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Mathis, Rosalind Ayres, Jane Carr, Judy Geeson, Martin Jarvis, full cast

    A Woman of No Importance

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 34 mins)
    • By Oscar Wilde
    • Narrated By Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Mathis, Rosalind Ayres, and others
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    Devilishly attractive Lord Illingworth is notorious for his skill as a seducer. But he is still invited to all the "best" houses, while his female conquests must hide their shame in seclusion. In this devastating drawing-room comedy, Oscar Wilde uses his celebrated wit to expose English society's narrow view of everything from sexual mores to Americans.

    Cheryl says: "Pitch Perfect Performance"
  • A Doll's House  by Henrik Ibsen Narrated by Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, Jeannie Elias, Gregory Itzin, Jobeth Williams

    A Doll's House

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Henrik Ibsen
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, Tony Abatemarco, Tim Dekay, and others
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (27)

    A new recording of Henrik Ibsen's masterpiece, starring Calista Flockhart. Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, and a bright future. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora's well-calibrated domestic ideal starts to crumble. Ibsen's play is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

    Jayne says: "Very Interesting!"
  •  
  • The Seagull  by Anton Chekhov, Christopher Hampton (translator) Narrated by Calista Flockhart, T. R. Knight, Stephen Collins, Gordon Clapp, Logan Fahey, Dakin Matthews, Bess Rous

    The Seagull

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 50 mins)
    • By Anton Chekhov, Christopher Hampton (translator)
    • Narrated By Calista Flockhart, T. R. Knight, Stephen Collins, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull is considered one of his most haunting and atmospheric character studies. A would-be playwright is at war with his egoistic mother while the town has become intoxicated by a sensational author. And as the alluring newcomer steals away Kosta’s only love, their new romance could have devastating consequences. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (






UNABRIDGED) by William Shakespeare Narrated by Ian McKellen, Prunella Scales, Frank Duncan, Joan Hart

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Ian McKellen, Prunella Scales, Frank Duncan, and others
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    Lovers lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and, yes, love. Sir Ian McKellen, Prunella Scales, Frank Duncan, and Joan Hart perform Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

  • In Search of Lost Time (Dramatized)  by Marcel Proust Narrated by James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, Imogen Stubbs, Corin Redgrave

    In Search of Lost Time (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Marcel Proust
    • Narrated By James Wilby, Jonathan Firth, Harriet Walter, and others
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    Featuring a fictional version of himself - 'Marcel' - and a host of friends, acquaintances, and lovers, In Search of Lost Time is Proust's search for the key to the mysteries of memory, time, and consciousness. As he recalls his childhood days, the sad affair of Charles Swann and Odette de Crecy, his transition to manhood, the tortures of love and the ravages of war, he realises that the simplest of discoveries can lead to astonishing possibilities.

    Pin says: "Absolutely First Class Drama!"
  • Antigone: Translated by F. L. Light (






UNABRIDGED) by F. L. Light (translator), Sophocles Narrated by Jesse M. Bernstein

    Antigone: Translated by F. L. Light

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By F. L. Light (translator), Sophocles
    • Narrated By Jesse M. Bernstein
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Prince Kreon, enforcing an arbitrary mandate, is enraged that Antigone would abide by a natural law of sisterly respect in contradiction of his will. As neither can be reconciled with the other's acts, the drama grows devoutly tenebrous. This translation is iambic, as is most of the text in Greek.

    Aya Katz says: "A Tragedy Made Real"
  •  
  • Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (






UNABRIDGED) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Narrated by Jim Donaldson

    Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    • Narrated By Jim Donaldson
    Overall
    (130)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (121)

    Frankenstein is infused with some elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement and is also considered to be one of the earliest examples of science fiction. Includes introduction and commentary by Mary Shelley. Required reading for any fan of science fiction and horror genres. A classic.

    Darwin8u says: "A Monster of Fiction"
  • Anna Christie  by Eugene O'Neill Narrated by Dwier Brown, Alley Mills, full cast

    Anna Christie

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By Eugene O'Neill
    • Narrated By Dwier Brown, Alley Mills, full cast
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The passion of a coal barge captain's daughter and a handsome sailor takes a tumultuous turn when secrets from her past are revealed. Nobel Laureate Eugene O'Neill won the second of his four Pulitzer Prizes for this heroic classic.

    Mark Ludwigson says: "Great book, great performances"
  • The George Bernard Shaw Collection  by George Bernard Shaw Narrated by Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, Bruce Davison, Kate Burton, Roger Rees

    The George Bernard Shaw Collection

    • ORIGINAL (13 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By George Bernard Shaw
    • Narrated By Shirley Knight, Anne Heche, JoBeth Williams, and others
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (35)

    Eight of George Bernard Shaw's most memorable plays in one splendid collection: Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Arms and the Man, Candida, The Devil’s Disciple, Major Barbara, The Doctor’s Dilemma, Misalliance, and Pygmalion.

    Michael says: "Impressive Collection of Shaw"
  • Pride and Prejudice (Dramatized)  by Jane Austen, Christina Calvit Narrated by Diane Adair, Jane Carr, Chloe Dworkin, Nicholas Hormann, Julia McIlvaine, Cerris Morgan-Moyer, Jill Renner

    Pride and Prejudice (Dramatized)

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 49 mins)
    • By Jane Austen, Christina Calvit
    • Narrated By Diane Adair, Jane Carr, Chloe Dworkin, and others
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    The dour, Mr. Darcy is anything but popular with the Bennets, especially when he fancies a member of their clan. And as Elizabeth reluctantly deals with Mr. Darcy’s advances, their romance seems destined to fail. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set the standard for romantic comedies when it debuted in 1813, and it still speaks to audiences worldwide through countless adaptations.

  • Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter

    Macbeth: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Hugh Ross, Harriet Walter
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The brave warrior Macbeth allows himself to be persuaded by Lady Macbeth, his wife, to slay good King Duncan and seize the throne of Scotland for himself. Macbeth achieves his ambition, but one murder proves not to be enough as he desperately attempts to eliminate all who might threaten his ill-gotten power. Descending into paranoia, Macbeth achieves his ambition but ravages his soul.

  • Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, Bob Peck, Norman Rodway

    Hamlet: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Imogen Stubbs, Jane Lapotaire, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Distressed by his father's death and his mother's over-hasty remarriage, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is faced by a specter from beyond the grave bearing a grim message of murder and revenge. The young prince is driven to the edge of madness by his struggle to understand the situation he finds himself in and to do his duty. Many others, including Hamlet's beloved, the innocent Ophelia, are swept up in his tragedy.

  • Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester

    Julius Caesar: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, John Bowe, Adrian Lester
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    At the heart of this tragic history is one of Shakespeare's most noble characters, the statesman Brutus, who is caught in a devastating conflict between private affection and public duty.

    Julius Caesar has become the most powerful man in the Rome. Does his power now threaten the very existence of the Republic itself? A conspiracy is hatched, one that will have fatal consequences not only for Caesar and the conspirators but for the future history of the ancient world.

  • Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, Greg Wise, Alan Howard

    Love's Labor's Lost: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Alex Jennings, Emma Fielding, Samantha Bond, and others
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The young king of Navarre and three of his courtiers have vowed to lock themselves away for three years of study and fasting, and to forswear the company of women for this period. No sooner is their vow made than it is tested, however, as the princess of France and three of her ladies arrive in Navarre on a diplomatic mission. The young men fall instantly and hopelessly in love, and the tension between their vow and their passion forms the subject of this charming and sparkling early comedy.

  •  
  • King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins

    King John: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Michael Feast, Michael Maloney, Eileen Atkins
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    King John of England is pitted against the united powers of France, Brittany, Austria, and the Papacy. Will England be destroyed by his fatal indecision? As alliances are made, broken, and remade, the paranoid and erratic John reveals his weakness and reliance on those around him - including his powerful mother, Queen Elinor, and Faulconbridge, the cynical and witty bastard son of the dead King Richard I.

  • Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, Suzanne Bertish, Stephen Mangan, Ron Cook

    Cymbeline: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Sophie Thompson, Ben Porter, Jack Shepherd, and others
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline, is persecuted by her wicked stepmother, the Queen, and by Cloten, the Queen's doltish son. Disguised as a boy, she sets out to find her husband, the banished Posthumus. On her journey, she unwittingly meets her two brothers, stolen from the court as infants. Posthumus, meanwhile, has been convinced by the villainous Iachimo that Imogen is unchaste and agrees to a test of her faithfulness.

  • Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare  by William Shakespeare Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet

    Measure for Measure: The Arkangel Shakespeare

    • ORIGINAL (2 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By William Shakespeare
    • Narrated By Simon Russell Beale, Roger Allam, Stella Gonet
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Telling his followers he is leaving the city on affairs of state, the Duke of Vienna appoints the puritanical Angelo to govern in his absence. Will Angelo prove as virtuous as he seems once power is in his hands? Roaming the city disguised as a friar, the duke looks on as Angelo's lust for the virtuous Isabella sweeps him into the corruption he has so sternly condemned in others. The duke's manipulation at last produces a happy ending for this dark comedy, with its brilliant exploration of the themes of justice and mercy.