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WRITTEN. SPOKEN. SUNG.

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WRITTEN. SPOKEN. SUNG.

This project was a fusion of literature and songs that were selected to emphasize similar themes. I suppose someone might accuse the Begelmans of nepotism; if true, I made the most of it. The speeches I chose to perform were the introductory Chorus from Henry V, the Seven Ages speech from As You Like It and Prospero's Epilogue from The Tempest. The reasons for thAse choices were many; and they go back years. The first of the choices opened all the shows I did with Don Lowe. My predilection for it goes back to the powerful impact Sir Laurence Olivier's wartime production of Henry V (with Leslie Banks in the role of Chorus) had on me when I was in high school. I stil believe the role of Henry was Olivier's outstanding film characterization, bar none. In high school As You Like It was the first Shakespearean play I was cast in, so it was a sentimental retread for me. In it, the Seven Ages speech by Jacques, with its undercurrent of wistfulness about life is surely a magnetic moment in the comedy. I had the opportunity to play Prospero in a former production of The Tempest, so that reenacting its Epilogue, one in which Shakespeare's magician says farewell in the very last lines the playwright had authored, had meaning for me for more than one reason. I am grateful to Love/Art/Play for giving me the opportunity to reprise the three speeches, and if this was by dint of a little nepotism, my response is resoundingly Shakespearean: "So be it!" David Begelman