Angela Iannone, one of the finest actors ever to grace a stage in Milwaukee, has been engaged in a love affair for the past six years with a man who died when he was only 59 years old.
Not only that, but the man died in June 1893.
Edwin Booth was his name, the finest actor of his time, the brother of the man who killed Abraham Lincoln and the object of desire for Iannone who has crafted a series of play about this lover -- "The Edwin Booth Cycle."
Watching the latest effort, "The Seeds of Banquo," opened at Soulstice Theatre by Theater Red Thursday night, made me wish that I loved somebody so much that I could write a play like this.
In 2009 Iannone was going to direct Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew," a play she didnâ€™t really care for. But she began her research and finally found the prompt book for the play that belonged to Booth. It was a detailed and sensitive and clear guide to how she could make the play work.
Then she saw a picture of the handsome actor and it was love at first sight.
She has steeped herself in the life of Booth and has found his strength and weaknesses and has let her love flourish in this smart and sensitive and very funny production.
The setting is a rehearsal of "Macbeth," of course starring Booth as Macbeth.
Booth, played by John Mundschau Glowacki, is in rehearsals with his friend and actor Lawrence Barrett played by Cory Jefferson Hagen, who is unsure of exactly what role or roles Booth has in mind for him.
Mrs. Elizabeth Bowers, played magnificent imperiousness by Marcee Doherty-Elst is Lady Macbeth and Mr. Owen Fawcett, played by Bryan Quinn, stumbles into the rehearsal and is handed many other roles.
The story ranges far and wide, always focused on Booth who has a severe ego, a sly sense of humor and an enraptured love of the details of a theatrical production. Â There is a confluence of lives, both private and personal, each of which provides both joys and sorrows for this magnificent talent.
Like a Brando or Ja…Read more...