For the past eight seasons, actor Hugh Laurie has played Dr. Gregory House on the Fox medical series House. House is brash, narcissistic, unsympathetic, addicted to painkillers, confrontational — and 100 percent American.
Laurie is none of those things.
"I am not playing House today, so I am dressed as an Englishman and speaking as an Englishman," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'm wearing a bowler hat and carrying a furled umbrella. It's nice to have a day every now and then off from the vocal exercises."
I, Claudius came to American television, imported from the BBC, in 1977 — the same year as another ambitious long-form production, ABC's Roots, which proved to everyone that miniseries were an exciting and extremely popular new form of television. I, Claudius, shown on the PBS series Masterpiece Theatre, didn't get anything close to the audience that Roots did — but it sure got a lot of attention.
It's been a decade since the Lee's Summit area has had its own community theater. A new company, called Summit Theatre Group, marks its debut with Bus Stop, the William Inge play set in a snowed-in roadhouse diner.
It’s difficult today to imagine a time when the United States and China didn’t have trade relations or communicate at all. But, in 1972, President Richard Nixon’s visit to China, a once-demonized Communist regime, was heralded as “the week that changed the world.”
At one point or another, most theater troupes buck tradition by employing the concept of non-traditional casting - that is, hiring actors to play roles written for a different age, gender or race. One example coming to Broadway in April is a version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" with an African-American cast. Playing with gender can be tricky, but American Heartland Theatre's current production of an Oscar Wilde classic features as the female lead the male actor Jim Korinke.