Tonight, Antony & Cleopatra performance #5. We had an exhilarating first weekend, and I am excited to see what happens as we dive in for week two.
After Sunday night’s show, we had three days of blissful rest, which looked like this:
…If this is what it’s like in Alexandria, I’ll take it. How about a few more pictures of Cleo, while we get ready for tonight’s journey?
She’s the go-to, right? Gorgeous Elizabeth Taylor, dripping with gold, giving everything old Hollywood had to give.
Icon + Icon. Show me a great woman who isn’t easily put into one box or another, and I bet she’s felt some affinity with Cleopatra in her life.
The incredible Theda Bara in a still photo from the 1917 film Cleopatra, of which no known print exists. It was one of her biggest successes, but all that remains is a handful of studio shots of her in costume.
One time Richard Avedon took my picture. A month before he died, when I was working with the satirical protest group Billionaires for Bush. He shot us in his studio on the Upper East Side, and it was an extraordinary experience. I wonder, I wonder…was I in the same corner of his studio where he shot Marilyn?
Who’s next? How about some more painters, picking up where we left off in Pictures of Cleo I?
Cleopatra’s allure continues to captivate painters. Moving into the 20th century, she was a muse for a number of Art Deco artists:
Next time, I’ll work with leopards too.
Yes, there is a leopard in that last painting. I know, you might have been focusing on something else. Look again.
And a couple of painters working today, too:
All these men painting Cleopatra, photographing actresses as Cleopatra…I wonder if the icon changes when she is represented by and for women? Let me take that question with me into the play tonight. Not to dismiss the men: just, let us say, to share.
To round out this gallery, here are images of some of the great actresses who have played Cleopatra:
And then there’s me, casting heiroglyphic shadows on the pressed tin walls of the Burnt Cove Church in our nightly ritual Antony & Cleopatra:
Infinite variety, indeed.
Now, though, it’s time to wash my hair.
Show me, my women, like a queen: go fetch
My best attires. I am again for Cydnys
To meet Mark Antony.
–Cleopatra, Act V, Scene 2