In celebration of Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary, Cinemark is spreading magic in the air by hosting Wizarding World Week – a week-long event taking place from August 31 through September 6 in which all 8 Harry Potter films will air in 141 Cinemark theaters!
Audiences can watch the magic happen like never before, as the films will be shown in XD which features “35 trillion colors and custom engineered surround sound.” To top it off, the ticketed price for a Festival Pass which allows audiences to view all eight films, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is only $25 dollars. If you can’t make it to see every film, you can also see individual showings for $5.
The Festival Pass includes a free collectible keychain, a refillable cup, and a commemorative festival badge. To find out the nearest participating location and more information, follow the link here.
The festival will be the perfect time to re-visit your favorite Hogwarts trio and have a magical evening with family, friends, and dates!
Shakespeare scholars and fans alike have pondered over the Bard’s writing for years and years. Because of the excessive amount of time that has passed since William Shakespeare’s death in 1616, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly who and what the man’s influences were. Whenever new information comes to light concerning his history, it creates a massive stir within the literary community, and it seems this has happened again.
In New Hampshire, a self-taught Shakespeare scholar named Dennis McCarthy believes that he has cracked another code using special plagiarism software called WCopyfind. It seems as though a lot of the language that Shakespeare uses in plays such as Macbeth, Richard III, and King Lear mirror the language used in a 16th century book called A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels written by a Swedish man named George North. A specific example that McCarthy cites is the fact that, in the preface to his book, North urges people to go against the deficiencies nature might have bestowed upon them using a string of words to tie his point together. This string of words is almost exactly the same as the words that Richard III utters in his opening monologue to reach an opposite conclusion: that these natural deficiencies will color his world evil.
Image Via NY Times
McCarthy and another Shakespeare scholar named June Schlueter are releasing a book to be published by the British Library and D.S. Brewer, an academic-based company. The two don’t suggest that William Shakespeare specifically plagiarized North’s work, but rather he was inspired by the Swede. An interesting suggestion of this inspiration is a piece of dialogue spoken by the character of the Fool in King Lear. The Fool discusses a prophecy spoken by Merlin, but for years this has puzzled academics who have found no evidence of said prophecy until now. Apparently, this prophecy was actually written by North to showcase a dystopian world that they believe might have even shaped Shakespeare’s creation of this iconic character.
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Surely, these new findings will affect the literary world in many different ways. I can just picture one of my favorite college professors, also a Shakespeare scholar, exploding with excitement to his students upon hearing this news.
The Royal Shakespeare Company has released an itinerary for their 2018 theater lineup, and in March we can expect to see Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Macbeth, starring Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who) and Niamh Cusack.
Macbeth tells the story of a man driven by his and his wife’s thirst for power. They take every step necessary to ensure success, even going so far as to solicit the help of three evil witches. In the shadow of this already dark tragedy are actual tales of superstition and bad luck, which have followed the play around since its premiere in 1606.
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No doubt the witchcraft present in Macbeth is an homage to Scottish King James VI’s obsession with dark magic. He was crowned in 1603 after a near-death experience at sea, which Shakespeare himself cites in a passage stating, “Though his bark cannot be lost, Yet is shall be tempest-tost.“ And while it may be a coincidence, the premiere of Macbeth itself was met with a slew of disasters. The actor scheduled to play Lady Macbeth dropped dead suddenly, forcing Shakespeare himself to take on the role.
Even in 1849 New York, during the Astor Place Riot, at least twenty people died when a fight broke out between two rival actors playing the title role of Macbeth in opposite productions: an American actor named Edwin Forrest and a British actor named William Charles Macready. More recently than that, in 1937, Laurence Olivier was nearly crushed to death by a falling stage weight while playing Macbeth, a la Looney Toons.
Image Via @ShakespeareYYC Twitter
Another performance accidentally used real daggers where prop daggers should have been. This resulted in the untimely death of one of the leads. Even today, speaking the name ‘Macbeth’ within the theatre is said to release evil into the air. But fear not!
There is a surefire way to combat these dark spirits. One must simply exit the venue, spin around three times, hock a nice amount of spit onto the ground, say a curse, and knock on the door to be allowed back inside. So if you find yourself at the Royal Shakespeare Company this spring, be sure not to speak the cursed name. But if you choose to take that risk, bring along a healthy dose of dramamine should you become nauseated from all of that spinning!
Just like the ruby red leaves of poinsettias, evergreens dripping in gold ornaments, and a sense of excitement everywhere you go, this time of year has certain attributes that you can always count on. One such example are Christmas tales such as the classic The Nutcracker.
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People fall in love with the story year after year. Marie (or Clara, as in the ballet) has her epic battle against the evil Mouse King with her Nutcracker toy that has magically come to life. Soon she is taken away to a fairytale land of beautiful dolls. The ballet is quite lovely from what I’ve heard! However, Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the Westas well as several other adult and children tales,has decided to retell his own version of The Nutcracker. Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker has a twist that might be too dark for youngsters.
In his recent interview with NPR Books, Maguire explains his disconnect from the way the notable ballet portrayed it:
Act I is the traditional tale, that you might find in Grimm, with the small powerless Clara fighting the great King of the Mice, and that makes sense and is dramatically strong… Then, Act II comes… It has nothing to do with the great drama of Act I; it’s all squandered. And I wanted to know what I could do with this story to make the two parts speak to each other.
Maguire’s main goal? To focus on the toymaker and Marie’s godfather, Drosselmeier, and his backstory. The character was said to be a poor young boy living in the deep woods of Europe. Maguire wants to spend time really connecting him to the tales of German romanticism while sprinkling in real-life struggles. It gives Drosselmeier the chance to be a hero.
Image Via Amazon
He really is doing something great here to let us remember the magic it took to have a child-like outlook on the world. Now it takes even more to not let that magic harden and fade into darkness. “If we remember the magic of our childhoods, we might be able to find in that the strength to carry on in our own hard and difficult adult lives.”
I understand the classic tale will always be, well, classic. Yet I do believe that Maguire is onto something very real and very magical.
Any viewer who has seen Lena Dunham’s HBO hit Girls will undoubtedly recognize the face of Andrew Rannells, who starred as the gay best friend we always wanted, Elijah Krantz. His witty, vivacious deposition which won fans over is being transferred to the page, as he has announced that he is publishing a memoir!
Scheduled to be released in 2019, Rannells’ memoir will reportedly outline the journey of his acting career, from his experience in community theater in the Midwest city of Omaha, Nebraska to the iconic Broadway stage in New York.
His memoir will reflect on his extensive theatrical experience, from debut role in Hairspray to his Tony-nominated leading role in The Book of Mormon. He has also starred in Hamilton, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and Falsettos.
Rannells commented on his upcoming memoir stating:
This is by far the most personal project I have ever worked on. Being an author has always been a dream of mine and I am incredibly honored to be given this opportunity. I am excited to share these stories and I will try my absolute best not to embarrass my family. Too badly.
While the title of his memoir and specific release date is yet to be announced, fans can look forward to a hilarious awe-inspiring read!