2013 Was The Year of Shakespeare On Broadway

View Comments(0)
Shakespeare image

Shakespeare is having a moment. Again. Given that William Shakespeare is arguably the most memorable playwright of all time, it's no surprise that his shows continue not just to be shared and acted in schools, but also on the Broadway stage.

This year, four of Shakespeare's plays made it to the Great White Way — and one was so enthralling, it was worthy of two different renditions.

While some of the Shakespeare shows were modernized (Romeo and Juliet), others stay as close to the original 17th century performances as possible (Richard III/Twelfth Night). Here's a breakdown of the shows that helped make 2013 the "Year of Shakespeare" on Broadway.

Alan Cumming's Macbeth

Starring: Alan Cumming

Opening Date: April 21, 2013

Closing Date: July 14, 2013

About This Rendition: Performed at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Alan Cumming's one-man rendition of Macbeth was called a "tour-de-force that redefines the term" by Associated Press. The critically acclaimed show featured Cumming playing each role in Macbeth, but with a twist: the entire thing took place in an asylum ward.

Romeo and Juliet

Starring: Orlando Bloom; Condola Rashad

Opening Date: September 19, 2013

Closing Date: December 8, 2013

About This Rendition: The classic tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet gets a facelift with this production. In the first few moments, Romeo, played by Orlando Bloom, rides a motorcycle on stage. But the big twist isn't that the show has been modernized; it's that Romeo and Juliet is now about an interracial couple.


Starring: Ethan Hawke; Anne-Marie Duff; Malcolm Gets; John Glover; Byron Jennings

Opening Date: November 21, 2013

Closing Date: January 12, 2014

About This Rendition: While the source material for this play is no comedy, this rendition of Macbeth attempts to make a tragedy even darker. It also focuses less on Macbeth and Lady Macbeth and more on the three Weird Sisters (who famously uttered the line, "Double, double toil and trouble/Fire burn, and cauldron bubble").

Twelfth Night/Richard III

Starring: In Twelfth Night, Mark Rylance; Stephen Fry; Samuel Barnett. In Richard III, Mark Rylance.

Opening Date: Nov. 10, 2013

Closing Date: February 1, 2014

About This Rendition: These two plays can be viewed back-to-back or on their own. They are intended to pay homage to theater traditions of the 17th century. Not only will there be Shakespearean pre-show rituals of the actors dressing and prepping their makeup right on stage, but there will also be live traditional music and all of the roles will be played by men.