Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"The Corn is Green" - World Class Theater in Boston
Boston's Huntington Theater Company is currently presenting a remarkable production of Emlyn Williams' timeless classic, "The Corn is Green." You may know the story from the two films that were made of it. The 1945 version starred Betty Davis, and the 1979 re-make, directed by George Cukor, starred Katherine Hepburn as Miss Moffatt, the spinster who strives to bring schooling to the young coal miners of Wales.
The current production, playing in Boston through February 8, is a not-to-be-missed event for lovers of theater and of great story telling. Directed by Nicholas Martin, the role of the school teacher is played by Kate Burton, Tony-nominated actress of great repute. There are some wonderful behind-the-scenes dynamics at work in this production. An early version of the play starred a young Welsh actor you may have heard of: Richard Burton. Kate is Richard Burton's daughter. In this production, the role of the young coal miner/prodigy is played by Kate's son, Morgan Ritchie.
Despite the star power of Ms. Burton and son, you should be aware that this play is not just a star vehicle; the ensemble cast is flawless.
The play is the most autobiographical of all of Emlyn Williams' writing. He himself was raised up from the coal mining mountains of Wales and encouraged by a teacher to apply to attend Oxford University. In addition to being a writer, Mr. Williams was a gifted actor. Late in his life, he performed one-man presentations of the lives of Dylan Thomas and Charles Dickens. I was fortunate to see him on two occasions do his recreation of the readings that Dickens' had done as he toured the U.S.
I plan to return to see this production of "The Corn is Green" at least once more before it closes. I hope to see you there.
Huntington Theater Link