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.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world's largest Shakespeare collection, brings Julius Caesar to life with this new full-length, full-cast dramatic recording of its definitive Folger Edition.
"Reliving the past"
After the death of their father, Oedipus, Antigone and Ismene return to Thebes. The ruler is their unyielding uncle by marriage, Creon, who assumed command after the death of the sons of Oedipus, Eteocles, and Polynices in a fratricidal struggle to take control of the city. Creon has the body of one brother buried with full civic honors but forbids the burial of the body of the other, whom he regards as a traitor. Antigone's challenge to Creon's decree, which she considers unjust, results in the extinction of the family line of Oedipus.
Four classic comedies from one of the wittiest playwrights in Western literature: Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and The Importance of Being Earnest, all featuring star-studded casts with the likes of Jacqueline Bisset, Miriam Margolyes, James Marsters, Alfred Molina, Roger Rees, Yeardley Smith, Eric Stoltz, and many more. This audio also includes a chilling dramatization of Wilde's sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Infamously known as the cursed Scottish play, Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way – including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia.
"Enjoyable all-cast performance"
In Sophocles' tragedy, Oedipus discovers that he has been caught in his terrible destiny, unknowingly murdering his father and marrying his mother.
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.
The most iconic love story of all time, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is an epic-scale tragedy of desire and revenge. Despite the bitter rivalry that exists between their families, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet have fallen madly in love. But when the long-running rivalry boils over into murder, the young couple must embark on a dangerous and deadly mission to preserve their love at any cost. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Calista Flockhart as Juliet.
"Dramatized drama at its best..."
Julius Caesar is one of Shakespeare’s most compelling Roman plays. The plot against Caesar and the infamous assassination scene make for unforgettable listening. Brutus, the true protagonist of the play, is mesmerizing in his psychological state of anguish, forced to choose between the bonds of friendship and his desire for patriotic justice.
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars"
In the hands of Sophocles, the master dramatist, the anguished tale of a man fated to kill his father and marry his mother retains its power to shock and move beyond any Freudian reference.
"Crackles with Fire"
Initially banned in France by King Louis, Molière's celebrated social satire Tartuffe exposes false piety and hypocrisy in the Catholic Church. When a pious fraud worms his way into a wealthy family and manipulates the patriarch into giving up his fortune, it’s up to his family to expose the truth before they end up in the poorhouse!
"Such a fun and pleasant read!!"
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.
"Impressive Collection of Shaw"
The body of Polynices, Antigone's brother, has been ordered to remain unburied by Creon, the new king of Thebes. Antigone defies the law, sealing her fate. Originally produced in Paris during the Nazi occupation, Anouilh's Antigone was seen by the French as theatre resistance and by Germans as an affirmation of authority.
"A classic is given a fabulous update!"
Chekhov's masterful last play, The Cherry Orchard, is a work of timeless, bittersweet beauty about the fading fortunes of an aristocratic Russian family and their struggle to maintain their status in a changing world. Alternately touching and farcical, this subtle, intelligent play stars the incomparable Marsha Mason.
"Wonderfully Vibrant Production"
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.
"Difficult to follow"
Written in 1593, King Richard III is one of Shakespeare's earliest plays. This play differs from its predecessors, being amore structured piece, examining the development and motivations of a single character, Richard Duke of Gloucester, who will stop at nothing to gain control of the throne occupied by his brother Edward IV.
"Another NAXOS masterpiece!"
In Richard III, Shakespeare invites us on a moral holiday. The play draws us to identify with Richard and his fantasy of total control of self and domination of others. Not yet king at the start of the play, Richard presents himself as an enterprising villain as he successfully plans to dispose of his brother, Clarence. Richard achieves similar success in conquering the woman he chooses to marry. He carves a way to the throne through assassination and executions.
"My fame is written in the heavens, and my fate too..." So speaks Odysseus as he starts to recount his struggles to sail home to Ithaca, in one of the greatest pieces of storytelling in Western literature. The Odyssey is his incredible traveller's tale, and also the story of his faithful wife Penelope who waits for him, besieged by suitors, and their son Telemachus who has a quest of his own.
"This was great"
Lady Susan is an epistolary novel by Jane Austen about a beautiful and manipulative widow scheming to arrange wealthy marriages for herself and her daughter. This book is the basis for the film Love & Friendship, written and directed by Whit Stillman, and starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. This dramatized production is presented by the Online Stage.
Now, for the first time in audio, Blackstone presents seven great plays in one volume: Euripides' Medea, Shakespeare's The Tempest, Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid, Dumas' Camille, Ibsen's An Enemy of the People, Shaw's Arms and the Man, and Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. These productions illustrate the development of European drama from ancient times to the threshold of the modern theater.
"Badly Done Plays"
Although he achieved notable success as a novelist, poet, essayist, and painter, August Strindberg is best known today as one of the first and most significant masters of naturalist theatre. Among his many dramatic works are a number of one-act plays, four of which are presented in this recording. All of the plays feature a persistent theme in Strindberg's works: the inevitable disillusion that results from intense involvement in relationships, whether they be familial, romantic or circumstantial.
The Swedish playwright August Strindberg was one of the founding fathers of naturalistic theater. A feature of many of his plays is the minute dissection of attitude and motivation by individuals within tightly bound groups. As in the present drama, such relentless inspection of behavior often has drastic consequences. Thekla, married to the needy Adolf, has a surprise encounter with her former husband, the lordly Gustav. Or is it really a surprise?
A classic performance of one of the Bard's classics.
Passion and intrigue among the upper classes form the basis of Lady Windermere's Fan, Oscar Wilde's first successful play, which displays his trademark wit and wisdom. Beautiful and innocent Lady Windermere finds out that her husband has been keeping company with the scandalous and mysterious Mrs. Erlynne. Her discovery unleashes a host of tensions at her 21st birthday party, where London's elite have gathered to gossip.
Despite its patina of humor, the work is a merciless exposé of the commercial middle class dishonesty, and the convenient immorality hiding behind social conventions, which are characteristic of a developing urban society. The most noble character, Serafima, is a compelling mixture of naïveté, whimsicality, sentimentality, and obstinate practicality - one of the finest character portraits in Russian drama.
Rosmersholm is a play surrounding the deep and intense political and cultural change in Norway in the middle of the 1880s, a period during which the traditional ruling class were forced to relinquish their right to impose their ideals on the rest of society. We follow Johannes Rosmer, a pastor who has resigned from his position; Rebecca West, a woman who sees Rosmer's potential and believes she can help him to realize his dream of creating a world of "happy, noble people"; and Headmaster Kroll, Rosmer's former best friend.
This book is a study of the decline and fall of a powerful man and his family. The TV series Empire embodies themes similar to those in King Lear, with some extra creative material, which makes it a hip-hop version of King Lear. When you hear King Lear and watch the show Empire, you will be impressed with its Shakespearean connection.
The Boor (sometimes translated as The Bear) is an atypical romantic comedy by Anton Chekhov. A surly landowner visits a widow who is one of his debtors - with unexpected results.