Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Romeo and Juliet (1934)

Katherine Cornell & Basil Rathbone
For the record …

Plain Dealer critic William F. McDermott had been single since he and his first wife divorced in 1921. He remarried in 1938.

It was Katharine Cornell who famously staged a performance at McDermott’s apartment in Bratenahl in 1950 when he was ill and couldn’t make it downtown for the production.

William McDermott really, really liked Katharine Cornell’s work.

In 1934 Miss Cornell brought her production of Romeo and Juliet to the Hanna (she was the producer as well as star) where McDermott was bowled over not only by her work, but by that of the entire company, including the “minor roles”.
“I do not remember a single representation that seemed as sponstaneous and vital and enriching as this one at the Hanna last evening.”
- McDermott, The Plain Dealer, Dec. 11, 1934
He really, really liked the production.

I have edited the previous entry several times, but now I have it from the source: Orson Welles was playing Tybalt by the time the show came to Cleveland, which was one of its final dates before making the transfer to Broadway. Mercutio was performed here by Brian Aherne. Welles is praised by McDermott for his “fiery villainousness.”

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