The Theater: American First

The 66th annual Shakespeare Festival opened in Stratford-on-Avon with one new wrinkle. For the first time in Festival history, the leading lady was an American: blonde, Syracuse-born Claire Luce.† The choice was a deliberate one, by way of saying thank you for U.S. support of last year's Festival, with its record-breaking attendance of 230,000. Besides playing Beatrice in the opening Much Ado About Nothing, Actress Luce will appear in Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer, play Cleopatra in the birthday performance (April 23) of Antony & Cleopatra.

Sporadic Shakespeare Festivals at Stratford go back...

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