Kevin Spacey’s bad-assery is apparent in nearly every role he plays. But one of the most enjoyable examples comes not from any of his acerbic, acidic movie characters but from his lesser-known career in live theater. Lesser-known, that is, until he broke the fourth wall in a 2011 production of Richard III, courtesy of his own London theater company, the Old Vic.
His targets were long overdue for an onstage thrashing — the cell-phone talkers, the incorrigible chatterers, the amateur videographers, the candy-wrapper-openers, and other miscreant ticket-buyers — and the performances of Shakespeare’s cautionary tale became as known for Spacey’s off-script scolding as his dramatizations of the titular king. “Tell them we’re busy,” his Richard barked at one incessant cell-phone user in Sydney; another night, he produced a laser pointer from his royal tunic and shone it on a group of noisemaking patrons, embarrassing them in front of everyone. When David Letterman asked him what the typical actor protocol is for dealing with disruptive theatergoers, Spacey responded, in pure Spacey fashion, “I don’t give a shit.”
Perhaps the actor’s rogue tendencies toward unmannered audiences will be addressed in a new documentary, Now: In the Wings on a World Stage, which captures the backstage preparations and onstage dramas of the Old Vic production across its 200-plus performances on three continents. The movie plays this Thursday for one night only at O Cinema Miami Shores @ MTC (Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores).
The screening will be followed by a panel discussion on the current state and future of South Florida theater, with special guests Joseph Adler of GableStage and Stephanie Ansin of Miami Theater Center. There might even be some surprise guests joining via Skype, theater sources say.
Thu., May 15, 7 p.m., 2014