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The Playwrights Forum > Critic's Corner > Reviews and Critiques > Stacy Keach as Ernest Hemingway at The Goodman Theatre

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Stacy Keach as Ernest Hemingway at The Goodman Theatre  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Aug 6th, 2018 04:26 pm
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https://splashmags.com/index.php/2018/07/16/25725/#gsc.tab=0

https://www.chicagostagestandard.com/home/2018/7/19/pamplona-goodman-theatre

I saw this one-man show at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Can not get it out of my head. Nothing flashy. Just...just...

Subtly, cunningly totally seduced me, and submerged me into "a willing suspension of disbelief." (Doesn't happen that often.) The writer, Jim McGrath, and Keach take Hemingway into a deep search for a word and his own soul. Deceptively adventurous script. Beautifully acted by Keach and directed by Robert Falls. Set and Staging were superb. One maybe would have thought it might have been a performance filled with flashy bombast, being about Hemingway.

Uh Uh. Nothing flashy. But stunning. Just a man on a desperate search for the "right word"...which...despite all the things Hemingway did/accomplished -or didn't -was his raison d'etre.

A marvelous script by Jim McGrath. Incredulous how magically and seamlessly he could distill Ernest Hemingway into an hour and a half! But he did.

Beautiful set, lighting, sound design.

Interestingly, the show opened at this time LAST year at the Goodman. However, early in the opening night perfromance, Keach had had a heart attack on stage!!! So glad he came back to do it. And I can not help but think it made his performance even richer.

Lucky man. Lucky audience. Lucky me.

Once in a rare, rare while, the Theatre can still do a number on me!

If it tours...See it.

Best,

IMR

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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 02:37 pm
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So, after seeing Pamplona , I went back to re-read Hemingway's short book/autobiography /memoir about his being in Paris as a young man and writer in the 1920's

"A MOVABLE FEAST." Short book.

I recommend it for all.

But you must find a copy printed before 2008, as it was re-edited in 2009, I believe. And of all things...Obviously NOT RE-EDITED by Ernest Hemingway!

Below is alink to a brief review.


https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-of-a-lifetime-a-moveable-feast-ernest-hemingway-785320.htm
l

It also motivated me to go back to diaries/notes I have kept stored for years as an actor in NYC. Fascinating. (Only to me, of course.) I also have sort a sort "reverse" diary, as I have kept every letter and card written to me since I was in grammar school. Arranged by year. (Hand written or typed letters with signatures sadly have died out, as the internet has taken over.) Now, all is on the computer.

But it is wonderful to see LETTERS...HAND-WRITTEN LETTERS. TYPED LETTERS. NOTECARDS.

Letters received are a reverse diary of one's own life. Keep them if you can.

I'll never forget a play I saw in NYC Off-OFF-OFFBroadway. It was of two lovers reading their letters. Set in the mid-1800's, when it took days or weeks for the mail to arrive. At one point, the female character has received a letter, after a period of time of receiving none. She opens the letter, and with all the thrill and love and lust she softly cries out to her lover..."YOUR HAND! YOUR HAND!" and clutches it to her breast. It was an exhilirating moment, and one I will never forget.

I've always wondered if A.R. Gurney had seen that very small production, as years later her wrote "LOVE LETTERS."

Best,

IMR

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