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Chrishayden

Lawrence Olivier as Othello

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Last night I saw a DVD of Lawrence Olivier playing Othello.

Sir Larry was a howler.

He sported some makeup that photographed gray for some reason. His Fro looked like a dead muskrat. Part of the time he chewed the scenery like he was on angel dust, the other time, he declaimed in the high manner of Noble Johnson playing one of them chiefs in a Tarzan movie, Mantan Moreland, or a cook at a rib joint in Harlem back in the 30's.

The best actor in there was Derek Jacobi as Cassio--his costars needed an Oscar for keeping a straight face while Larry was freaking out.

I know the play was written by William "Thou canst get no whiter than he" Shakespeare.

Are there some better performances I might check out (Othello is my favorite Shakespearean play--the Plot is so O.J. Simpson--Negro marries white woman and they pay for it with their lives)

I saw Fishburne in the title role but he wasn't too good. I heard Robeson was good. And James Earl Jones. And I heard William Marshall did a decent job.

Any suggestions

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A while back on BET, I guess, I saw a hip-hop version of this classic entitled "O". It starred Omar Epps. It wasn't half bad, because it is a story that can be placed in that vernacular.

I think Paul Robeson is considered the quintessential Othello. He was the first black to play this role and he made it his own. Before him, white actors played Othello in black face.

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A while back on BET, I guess, I saw a hip-hop version of this classic entitled "O". It starred Omar Epps. It wasn't half bad, because it is a story that can be placed in that vernacular.

I think Paul Robeson is considered the quintessential Othello. He was the first black to play this role and he made it his own. Before him, white actors played Othello in black face.

Not quite right.

There was an African American by the name of Ira Aldridge who played Othello during the 19th century, I believe.

I saw that one with Omar Epps.

He should have his actor's equity card burned.

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OK. I stand corrected. Did you have a hard time absorbing the idea that a Negro was allowed to play Shakespeare in the 1800s? This must've happened up North because they were being strung up in the South. Do some research and tell us more.

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