2011 October 21

Shakespeare at Circo

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Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson
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(NEW YORK) “The history books got everything wrong about Shakespeare!” explained John Orloff, writer and executive producer of Columbia Pictures’ newest big-screen drama, Anonymous. “We know almost nothing about the man called William Shakespeare so most of what we know is actually made up. It’s guess work,” added Orloff at the Cinema Society screening of the is-he-or-isn’t-he movie that takes a stab at the question: Is Shakespeare really a fraud? Cinema Society founder Andrew Saffir wrangled a starry guest list at the MoMA premiere running the gamut from lead castmates Joely Richardson and Rhys Ifans to newlyweds Sir Paul McCartney and Nancy Shevell, who snuck into the screening unbeknownst to the fasheratti.

“This day and age, you just go to a movie and hope you don’t fall asleep,” whispered Maxwell to The Daily. After the credits rolled, the musical crooner, who was in town working on his album, admitted he was pleasantly surprised. His official rating? Two very enthusiastic thumbs up. “I love conspiracies,” he mused. “My favorite is Santa Claus. That’s appropriate for the holidays, right?” As for the rest of the movie goers, Ifans noted aliens and landing on the moon as his favorites while Strike Back actor Philip Winchester cited “the economic breakdown” in our country. “I’ve never seen the receipts, but we make a lot of money as a nation. Where the hell does it go?” he inquired.

Post screening, guests decamped to Circo for an all-you-can-eat buffet of lasagna, spinach ravioli, salmon, and roasted poulet. Tony Danza (martini in hand) chatted with fellow Taxi alum Judd Hirsh at the bar. “When I did The Producers on Broadway, we moved the production to Vegas for six months. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” declared Danza. “I liked at the Paris hotel. You’ve heard of Eloise at The Plaza? How about Tony at the Paris?” But, what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. “I have a system for Roulette, except you have to play every day for six months for it to work. I played every night when I was in Vegas. 27 was my number,” he laughed.  

Across the room, Courtney Love was deep in conversation with her posse (and Natasha Bedingfield) while Maxwell settled into the front table, chowing down on a full plate and discussing his literary inspirations. (Dr. Seuss, Paulo Coelho, and T.S. Elliott, in case you were wondering.) Meanwhile, Richardson popped in and out for the occasional smoke break and drew glances from mid-town bystanders in her floor-sweeping gown. “People like Joan Rivers always ask why everyone dresses down to go outside, but my favorite thing is to walk down the street and not draw attention to myself—I’m already ridiculously tall,” admitted Richardson. “I would be Joan River’s nightmare.” And, of course, this wouldn't be a Shakespearean soiree without a little theatrical prose from director Roland Emmerich. "If I got a Shakespeare tattoo, I'd get 'To be or not to be.' Or maybe, 'To believe or not to believe...'" MARIA DENARDO 

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