The story of Jordan Belfort is a crazy one. A former stockbroker who accumulated enormous wealth through various fraudulent schemes, Belfort avoided capture by the FBI for years before finally being convicted of fraud and stock-market manipulation. He detailed his rise and fall in his memoir The Wolf of Wall Street, giving readers an inside look at the outrageously lavish lifestyle Belmont lived while defrauding people. The unbelievable story was adapted into an Oscar nominated film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, and now Belfort’s story will find another new audience.
An immersive theatre show is being produced in London, based on Belfort’s memoir. The show will allow viewers to live out various scenarios from both the book and the movie. This will include trading stocks with Belfort or working with the FBI to bring him down.
The show is being put together by the same team who produced an immersive show based on The Great Gatsby, which allowed the audience to dance to jazzy tunes and interact with cast members.
Both the book and film adaptation received criticism for its portrayal of Belfort’s actions, with many believing it glorified his illegal antics and didn’t adequately portray the victims of his crimes. The producers have said that they are “committed to creating a respectful and happy environment for its audience and staff”.
The word ‘timeless’ is thrown around a lot when speaking about 1962’s To Kill a Mocking Bird, but the film truly hasn’t seemed to age. Logically, of course, in a way it doesn’t. When the film is on, Atticus Finch always looks like a forty-six-year-old Gregory Peck, Scout Finch always looks like a ten-year- old Mary Badham, and those bright summer days always seem to fly by.
“I have a vivid memory of watching it in my living room with my parents,” People reported Celia Keenan-Bolger, the award-winning actress, telling a large audience. Near tears, Keenan-Bolger’s nostalgic tale drives home at what all stories strive for: emotional core.
However, by their nature emotions aren’t rational. They drive right past logic and stay with us in the back of our minds. Celia Keenan-Bolger told the awaiting audience how there was a “profound impact that Mary Badham’s performance as Scout Finch had on my life”. That’s not hyperbole, that’s emotional impact.
There is a reason why we remember this story. After reaching fame as a child actress, Mary Badham told the Telegraph how, “I always called him Atticus and [Gregory Peck] still called me Scout right up to the end”. Since Mr. Peck’s death, Mary Badham has kept busy. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, she visited the Episcopal School in Knoxville, Tennessee and spread the message of Harper Lee’s novel and its film adaptation, telling them how “[e]ducation is the key to freedom.”
When Aaron Sorkin underwent the challenge and now his adaptation of To Kill A Mocking Bird has hit Broadway. In what seems to be out of a fairy-tale, Celia Keenan-Bolger, teary eyed, faced the audience and told them how Mary Badham’s performance as Scout became “an enduring icon to me and to young girls for many generations, so you can imagine what it felt like to find out that she is here today.”
Afterwards Mary Badham was welcomed to the show with a sea of applause and, for one moment, people came closer together. Perhaps this is why we see stage adaptations of old favorites. The new mediums gives the story a new light, the actors a new inflection, and, despite the differences, we still find the same thing we found before.
I used to avoid reading works of drama because I didn’t think they were “my thing.” As a long-time reader of fiction, the format of traditional drama was a bit intimidating and not aesthetically pleasing to me. It wasn’t until I got to college and was forced to take a Shakespeare course, and other english courses that introduced plays, that I finally came to appreciate the genre.
While the format is indeed different than other genres, that very format has so many benefits in of itself that audiences can appreciate. The messages, emotions, and stories behind the written words can echo much louder and clearer and when you discover a play you love, you wonder how you could have possibly missed out on the chance to be touched by it for so long. Maybe you’re also a reader who has hesitated to read plays, or hasn’t come across a drama naturally, but hopefully these 5 dramas will be enticing enough to give it a try.
Angels in America depicts an emotionally riveting tale of the AIDS crisis in 1980’s America. It conveys the complexity, fear, and rejection AIDS affected communities faced during the time and while it largely focuses on the history and experiences of the LGBT community, the story can speak to and impact a larger audience.
This is a legendary play exploring sexuality, mental illness, and familial relations. A Streetcar Named Desire has delivered not only one of the most iconic American plays in history, but an equally acclaimed film adaptation, directed by Elia Kazan, that has earned a reputation as being an American classic.
Titus Andronicus may not be the most well-known or studied Shakespeare work, but it’s certainly, in my opinion, one of the most worth reading. Though it’s advertised as a tragedy (and certainly has some dramatic and emotional scenes), this shocking story about a Roman soldier, whose family becomes involved in bad blood, has some bizarre and ridiculous moments that makes it wildly entertaining and certainly a page-turner.
The Laramie Project explores the tragic death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man who was brutally murdered in his small town of Laramie, Wyoming. Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project visited Laramie after Shepards death and conducted over 200 interviews with his neighbors, friends, family, and foes, cultivating in a powerful discussion of prejudice, rejection, and the worth of LGBT lives. The second half of the play sees the group returning 10 years later, observing the long-term affects of Shepherd’s tragic death and the lessons learned by the small town folk since.
The onset of the AIDS epidemic is written about extensively, yet The Normal Heart nevertheless portrays it in such a unique and humanizing experience that it packs just as big of an emotional punch as any similar story that came before it. With moving dialogue,heart-felt messages, and an honest and emotional criticism of the social forces that failed to intervene in the AIDS crisis, The Normal Heart is an absolute must-read!
Featured Image Shows Mural of William Shakespeare Painted by James Cochran
It is Samuel Beckett’s 112th birthday today. A fun fact about Beckett, writer of Waiting for Godot, among many, many other beloved plays, novellas and poetry collections, is that, in 1958, he used to drive André the Giant to school “when twelve-year-old André’s acromegaly prevented him from taking the school bus.” They were neighbors where they lived in Moulien, France. According to Open Culture, “André recalled that they mostly talked about cricket.”
Tom Hanks will star alongside his wife Rita Wilson in the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’ production of Shakespeare’s play Henry IV. The show will run for twenty-four performances between June 5th and July 1st 2018 and will take place at the Japanese Garden on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. Hanks will play Sir John Falstaff.
Parts 1 and 2 of Shakespeare’s play will be brought to the stage by Tony Award-winning director Daniel Sullivan. According to Variety, “2,000 tickets will be reserved for active and retired members of the military.”
Shakespeare’s play follows the reign of King Henry IV, and Sullivan’s version will focus on the story of Hanks’ Falstaff and the young Prince Hal who grows up to become King.
The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’s 25th Annual Simply Shakespeare benefit honored Hanks and Wilson, as they have been sponsors for twenty-six years.
Last year, Hanks released his first book of short stories,Uncommon Type. On top of this, he is a remarkably gif-able human, and there are many great Tom Hanks gifs, but below is potentially my favorite. Enjoy.