Theater Abroad: Overplaying Medea

Composer-Impresario Gian Carlo Menotti had never directed a straight play before, but this was one challenge he could not resist. It was the first Ital ian production of Jean Anouilh's Medea, with volcanic Film Actress Anna Magnani (Open City, The Rose Tattoo) in the title role. Menotti realized all along, though, that working with Magnani is "like working with fire. It might burn down the whole house if you let it go, but if you put water on it, the fire might go out. You must keep the fire burning without destroying the theater."

There was smoke right from the...

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