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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Have you seen any great actors on stage?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25799 points ) February 21st, 2012

I’m an actor, and I do a lot of community theater. I’ve been lucky enough in the past to see some truly amazing pieces of theater.

I’ve also seen some really great actors perform on stage. I saw Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady.

I’m currently in rehearsals playing Dysart in Equus. I have a friend who’s coming to see the show who saw Richard Burton play Dysart on Broadway as part of his preparation for the role in the film version. I’m a bit nervous about that. I’m not Richard Burton, but I would like to put on a good performance. (As an aside, this same friend saw Daniel Radcliffe play Alan in Equus in 2009.)

Have you seen any great actors on stage?

If so, who and what role in what play?

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28 Answers

picante's avatar

I think he’s great—I saw John Malkovich in Austin a few months ago. The play was “The Infernal Comedy.” Here’s a snip from the promo:

Texas Performing Arts presents Hollywood legend John Malkovich starring in the state premiere of a stirring play based on the real-life story of celebrated Austrian author and notorious serial killer Jack Unterweger. Written and directed by Michael Sturminger, this cutting-edge presentation is propelled by a series of monologues paired with arias by Gluck, Boccherini, and Mozart accompanied by an on-stage Baroque orchestra

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@picante : Yes, I agree. Malkovich is great.

rebbel's avatar

“Have you seen any great actors on stage?”
Yes, I did.
Louise Veronica Ciccone in Speed the Plow, in New York, on 46th street I believe it was.
I have no idea who or what she played, as I was mesmerized by her presence or my being meters away from one of the eighties sex symbols.
I do remember that I read that she didn’t get very good critiques.

Judi's avatar

I haven’t seen any film actors perform live on stage, but you know @Hawaii_Jake , you will do a much better job if you find the character within yourself than if you try to channel Richard Burton. You will be great. I wish I could come watch you!!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. Quite a few. It’s a side effect of living in central london and going to the theatre. The ones that stick in my memory are Nicole Kidman (naked in the Blue Room) and Kathleen Turner (naked in the Graduate).

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Judi : Thank you. I’m not capable of channeling Richard Burton, but I am capable of playing the role as best as I can. :)

Judi's avatar

@Lightlyseared , so jealous. I always wanted to live in the heart of theater.
@Hawaii_Jake , then I know you will do a fine job.

6rant6's avatar

James Whitmore in “Dirt”. You’ve never seen it or heard of it, but an amazing performance in an amazing role.

Paxton Whitehead, “Richard III”

Jonathon McMurtry – too many to name

John Goodman as Falstaff, “Henry IV”

Tovah Feldshuh, Will Forte, Paul Michael, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel,
Marion Ross, Jennifer Tilly, Michael Urie in “Celebrity Biography”

Daniel J. Travanti, “I Never Sang for My Father”

Hal Holbrook, Shylock, “Merchant of Venice”

Tovah Feldshuh, “Golda’s Balcony”

Ralph Fiennes, Cherry Jones, Ian McDiarmid “Faith Healer”

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@6rant6 : Green! I’m green with envy!

6rant6's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I could go on. Season tickets for 30 years…

Sunny2's avatar

Don’t you dare think about Richard Burton’s version of the character. You do it with the conviction that your interpretation is just as valid and go for it! I wish I could see it.

I saw Faye Dunaway in several plays when she was doing summer theater at Harvard and I was doing props. She called me a bitch because the actors used the prop playing cards which were used in the first scene of the play and I was afraid they wouldn’t be there when I needed them, so I removed the aces.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Sunny2 : You’re my kind of prop master.

6rant6's avatar

Oh, and one famous actor I didn’t mention who did an incredible job; Tom Wopat, in “A Catered Affair.” Wopat is most well known as Luke Duke from the Dukes of Hazard. I wasn’t expecting much, but he was fantastic. Generally, I don’t like musicals, even. Harvey Fierstein wrote book, and was also in it.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

For the two people who’ve mentioned it, I haven’t seen the film version of Equus, so I won’t be influenced by Richard Burton’s performance at all. Thank you for asking.

flutherother's avatar

I saw Judi Dench in Marquis de Sade.

Brian1946's avatar

I saw Vincent Price solo as Oscar Wilde.

I also saw Faye Dunaway and Jon Voight in a stage production of A Paddy Wagon Named Desire. ;-)

Faye was Blanche and Jon was Stanley. We were in the balcony, so that during the curtain call, I could see right into Faye’s face, and instead of reacting to the applause, she still had the desperately lost look of Blanche.

filmfann's avatar

I saw Jack Lemmon in a play, but I don’t recall the title.
I saw Katherine Hepburn in West Side Waltz.
I saw Dick Shawn several times in his play “The 2nd Greatest Entertainer in the Whole Wide World.” He died onstage in that play many years later.

linguaphile's avatar

George Hamilton in The Producers, just last fall.

Joker94's avatar

If he counts, Mike Daisey’s performance in The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was excellent. I have not seen many live performances, and am unsure whether or not his style of performance truly counts as “acting”, but his delivery and storytelling was impeccable.

SuperMouse's avatar

I saw Christopher Walken and Dianne Lane perform Love Letters.

ddude1116's avatar

I saw Michael York as King Arthur in Camelot. I wouldn’t consider him all that great, though.

Jeruba's avatar

No…I only wish. But I have seen (and heard) Luciano Pavarotti in Aida, and I have seen Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn perform together in Swan Lake.

smilingheart1's avatar

All the supporting roles also enable the greatness of any actor. A play is always about synergy to me.

Leanne1986's avatar

I recently saw Ramin Karimloo play the phantom in Phantom of the Opera and it was a superb performance.

filmfann's avatar

@linguaphile George Hamilton was in the Producers? Which role did he play?

linguaphile's avatar

@filmfann My spacy mistake—he was in La Cage Aux Folles, not the Producers.

filmfann's avatar

@linguaphile I can see him in that!

I have also seen Cary Grant and Bette Davis on stage, though they were just speaking about their lives, and not acting in a play.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, I did see Hal Holbrook do his one-man Mark Twain Tonight. That was great.

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