Twenty-five years ago, filmmaker Colin Stafford-Johnson (recently the central character in NATURE’s “Broken Tail: A Tiger’s Last Journey”) travelled to Sulawesi in Indonesia and fell in love with crested black macaques. These feisty monkeys are beach bums with punk hairstyles, expressive faces, copper-colored eyes and some very unusual habits, making them some of the most charismatic of all monkeys. Learning that their numbers have dropped dramatically, he makes a return visit to find out why and to see if he can help. Teaming up with a local expert and making a film about them and their plight allows him to share their story with the local schools and communities, in the hope that a new understanding of the wonderful creatures in their midst will make them want to help as well.
In Barrymore, 83 year-old stage and screen legend Christopher Plummer portrays another titan of theater and film from an earlier age, the illustrious—and notorious—John Barrymore. This acclaimed film adaptation of William Luce’s 1997 play is set in 1942 during the final months of Barrymore’s life. On the stage of a Broadway theater, the famously combative star struggles to recreate his performance in Shakepeare’s Richard III, recalling the highs and lows of his remarkable life and career in the process.
William Kentridge’s dazzlingly innovative production of Shostakovich’s shocking, unconventional opera about a beleaguered Russian official and his runaway nose returns to the Met for the first time since its sold-out 2010 premiere. Pavel Smelkov conducts a cast led by Paulo Szot as the hapless Kovalyov, with Andrey Popov as the menacing Police Inspector and Alexander Lewis as Kovalyov’s peripatetic nose.
Founded in 1963, the Royal National Theatre has not simply provided lucky London residents and visitors with some the most thrilling productions in contemporary theater, but served as an influential wellspring of talent and creativity, breathing new life into theater classics as well as launching new plays, playwrights, directors and stars on an international stage. On November 2, 2013, the NT celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special gala performance, welcoming home an all-star cast of NT alumni to perform excerpts from landmark productions, complemented by archival excerpts from the NT’s many groundbreaking productions. Subject to availability, Jim Broadbent, James Corden, Benedict Cumberbatch, Judi Dench, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Hugh Jackman, Derek Jacobi, Rory Kinnear, Helen Mirren, Simon Russell Beale, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton are in discussions to appear. NT Artistic Director Nicholas Hytner will direct.
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